Teeth Cleanings

Having your teeth professionally cleaned is about more than a bright & shiny smile. Getting your teeth cleaned at the dentist on a regular basis may be the most important way we help you prevent oral health problems.

Mom and son smilingA teeth cleaning is part of a routine preventive visit to our practice. At your cleaning appointment, we can also give you tips on your at-home oral care routine, your diet & anything about your smile that you may be concerned or have questions about.

Plus, there’s nothing like that smooth, fresh feeling you get after your cleaning!

Dental checkups on a regular basis are a very important part of maintaining your teeth & overall health. The frequency of your visits to Nicholas Sowles Dental Excellence is based upon your needs & oral health.

What Is A Teeth Cleaning?

A professional cleaning at our office is the only way to remove the stuck-on plaque & tartar that is left behind even after you brush.

In addition to flossing & brushing two times a day (for two whole minutes), visiting us at least twice a year for your teeth cleaning helps us catch & prevent common tooth problems, such as tooth decay (cavities) & gum disease. When oral health problems are caught early, they are easier & less expensive to treat & are less likely to cause you trouble in the future.

Procedure Overview

The order & details of what happens during your teeth cleaning appointment depends on your individual situation, but usually follows this general order:

  • The hygienist or dentist will remove tartar & plaque from your teeth by scraping them gently with a scaler or “dental pick”. A scaler can do what your toothbrush can’t: when plaque stays on your teeth too long it can turn into a hardened calculus called tartar. A scaler in the skilled hands of a dentist or hygienist is the only way to remove this tough debris. For particularly tough or larger amounts of tartar, we may use an ultrasonic scaler. This tool uses ultrasonic waves to help break up calculus, making it easier to remove quickly & with less scraping.
  • Next, we will use a special polisher & paste to remove stains & smooth the surfaces of your teeth. The polisher uses a small rubber cup that spins as it applies a mildly abrasive paste that is similar to regular toothpaste but a little thicker.
  • Throughout the teeth cleaning process, we will occasionally rinse your teeth with a small jet of water & suction the excess water & saliva away. This clears away plaque, tartar & polishing paste. If we need to get a better look at a certain tooth, we may also dry it out using a few quick puffs of air. This makes seeing buildup & surface irregularities easier.
  • As a final step, we will floss your teeth using standard dental floss to remove any polishing paste that may be left behind. Once your teeth are nice & clean, we’ll typically move on to an examination, in which we’ll look at your teeth, gums, tongue & the rest of your mouth.

Professional Teeth Cleaning

Your professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) will be performed by a courteous & knowledgeable registered dental hygienist. In addition to a complete dental exam, your cleaning appointment will include the following:

• Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that accumulates on the tooth surface both above & below the gum line. Tartar can only be removed with special dental instruments.

• Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, colorless film consisting of living bacteria, food debris & saliva. Unless plaque is removed, the bacteria will produce toxins (poisons) that can inflame the gums, leading to periodontal (gum) disease.

• Teeth polishing: Gentle professional polishing removes stains & traces of plaque that remain on the teeth so you can enjoy that “just left the dentist” clean feeling.

Dr. Nicholas Sowles & his dental hygienists are specialists with years of experience performing professional dental cleanings & exams. We will be pleased to give you instructions for how to keep your smile healthy. As always, good oral hygiene practices & regular dental visits are recommended following your dental cleaning.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about teeth cleaning or to schedule a smile consultation with Dr. Sowles.

Appointments 7am–8pm & on Saturdays!

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