People often fear going to the dentist for professional teeth cleanings. The experience can be frightening because of the strange noises and physical discomfort. Patients also fear that the teeth cleaning will find some hidden malady, leading to a painful procedure such as surgery or a root canal. If you are seeking dental care, teeth cleanings, or dental veneers in San Francisco, it may help to alleviate anxiety if you understand what to expect.

What is the Procedure for Teeth Cleanings?

A typical professional teeth cleaning takes under one hour involving several steps designed to check and maintain the health of your teeth and gums.

Step 1: The Physical Exam

Most of the steps in professional teeth cleanings in San Francisco are performed by a dental hygienist. The teeth cleaning process begins with an examination of your mouth. The dental hygienist will inspect your entire mouth with a small mirror to check for signs of gingivitis.

In short, gingivitis is a form of gum disease where plaque builds up on teeth causing inflammation of the gums. Plaque produces toxins that irritate the gums causing them to recede from the teeth. If the hygienist finds any major problems, the dentist will be called in.a woman in a dentist chair talking to a dentist with a clipboard about teeth cleanings

Step 2: Plaque and Tar Removal

Using the dental mirror and a scalar, the dentist will scrape away the plaque and tartar near the gum line. This will help prevent gingivitis. It will also help prevent gingivitis from developing into periodontitis, which can affect the tooth root and the underlying bone. While plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing, tartar can only be removed by professional teeth cleaning.

Step 3: Professional Teeth Cleaning

Once the dental hygienist has finished scraping your teeth, the next step in the teeth cleaning process is to polish your teeth with an electric toothbrush and special gritty toothpaste. The toothpaste and high-speed brush will help to polish your teeth and remove any remaining plaque and tartar. Although your dentist will clean your teeth with a gritty toothpaste, don’t try this at home with a gritty material like baking soda, because it may permanently damage or remove the enamel from your teeth.

Step 4: Professional Flossing

After completing the high-speed brushing of your teeth, the dental hygienist will thoroughly floss your teeth. The purpose of flossing is to remove debris as well as plaque from in between your teeth. The dental hygienist will typically use a high-quality floss, similar to what you use at home.

Step 6: Rinsing

After flossing is complete, the hygienist will have you rinse your mouth with a fluoride rinse to clear the debris from your mouth.

Step 7: Fluoride Treatment

The final step of dental cleaning is the application of fluoride treatment to protect your teeth. The fluoride is applied as a foamy paste sprayed into a mouthpiece for the upper and lower teeth. During the fluoride treatment, you will have to sit quietly with your mouth closed to hold the mouthpieces in place covering your teeth. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps to strengthen your teeth and prevent cavities.

In addition to the professional teeth cleaning, the dentist may also request x-rays of your teeth on an annual basis. X-Rays allow the dentist to view inside your teeth and gums to detect if you need a cavity filling, bone decay or other potential issues.

Teeth Cleaning in San Francisco

In addition to teeth cleanings, Zeal Dentistry also offers:

If you are looking for professional teeth cleanings or dental veneers in the San Francisco area, consider Zeal Dentistry. We are experts in preventative and restorative dentistry as well as other services. Our customers comfort is our primary concern. Call us today at 415.792.4771.