Dr. Michael Franquemont
Man at the dentist in Centennial, CO

What Is Included in a Dental Cleaning?

March 24, 2021
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Posted By: Michael J Franquemont DDS Staff
Woman getting teeth cleaned in Centennial, CO

Dentists recommend dental cleanings every six months to support your own brushing and flossing routine. At-home oral hygiene is crucial to prevent a buildup of cavity-causing plaque. However, your best brushing and flossing skills are no match for hardened plaque called tartar that can only be removed by a skilled dental hygienist.

Your Dental Cleaning in Centennial, CO

Referred to as prophylaxis or “prophy” by your dentist and hygienist, your six-month dental cleanings in Centennial include three steps:

Step 1: Flossing Your Teeth

You should already floss once a day at home to remove plaque from between your teeth, where cavities commonly develop. Your hygienist starts your cleaning with flossing to ensure that they have completely removed all the plaque buildup that you might have missed since your last cleaning.

Step 2: Removing Tartar with Specialized Tools

Tartar is hardened plaque, and once it builds up on your teeth, it needs to be removed to help you avoid gingivitis or gum disease. Several different types of tools might be used, including ultrasonic instruments and small handheld tools called scalers and curettes.

Step 3: Polishing Your Teeth

Next, your hygienist uses a slow-speed handheld device to polish your tooth enamel. They load the rubber tip of the device with prophy paste and runs it over the front and back surfaces of your teeth. Polishing your teeth removes small tartar particles and surface stains.

Patients love this step because it leaves behind a smooth, sparkly-fresh feel that tells them their teeth are super clean!

Fluoride Application (As Needed)

In some cases, your hygienist may also recommend a fluoride application to strengthen teeth weakened by acids created in your mouth. After a fluoride treatment, be sure to wait 30 minutes before you eat or drink.

How Long Does a Dental Cleaning Take?

The length of your hygiene appointment depends on how long it’s been since your last cleaning and how much plaque and tartar have built up on your teeth. Most dental cleanings in Centennial take 30 to 60 minutes, where you should expect a comfortable, pain-free experience.

If you are nervous about the procedure, we offer comfortable sedation dentistry with nitrous oxide or laughing gas. Many patients enjoy the calming feelings that nitrous provides without any drowsy after-effects.

Schedule Your Next Dental Cleaning in Centennial, CO

Most dental insurances cover two teeth cleanings per year because they recognize the importance of preventive dentistry. If it’s been six months or longer since we have seen you, call Michael J Franguqment DDS in Centennial to schedule your next dental cleaning!

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