Can Dental Cleanings Damage Teeth?

Can Dental Cleanings Damage Teeth?


Some patients avoid dental cleanings because they believe the tools can damage gums and tooth enamel. Fortunately, dental cleaning is a gentle, effective procedure that does not damage teeth or gums.

Dental cleanings every six months or as your doctor recommends help remove plaque and tartar, polish away surface stains, and guard against future oral health difficulties like gum disease and tooth decay.

The Dental Cleaning Procedure

Step 1: Examination

The first step in a routine dental cleaning is a thorough examination by your hygienist. They will use a metal instrument called an explorer and a small mirror to look at your teeth and check your oral health.

Step 2: X-Rays

Most dentists recommend routine X-rays once a year. Digital X-rays are quicker and safer than traditional film X-rays, using up to 80 percent less radiation. X-rays detect hidden problems and check the status of previous restorations like fillings and crowns.

Step 3: Scaling

The next step in dental cleaning is scaling. Your hygienist will use a metal scaler to remove all plaque and tartar from your tooth surfaces. They may also use a water-powered or ultrasonic scaler. Reaching below the gum line, the hygienist removes tartar deposits contributing to gum disease.

Step 4: Polishing

Using a spinning cleaning tool, the hygienist applies gritty toothpaste and polishes away surface stains. This gentle abrasive toothpaste removes plaque and stains while keeping the tooth enamel safe.

Step 5: Flossing

The hygienist then flosses your teeth. They check for tight contacts between teeth and ensure you understand the proper flossing technique.

Step 6: Dentist Examination

At the close of your appointment, the dentist will check your oral health. They will check your head, mouth, and neck for signs of potential issues, including oral cancer.

Step 7: Fluoride

Before you leave, your hygienist may offer a fluoride treatment. Fluoride is a safe, natural mineral that hardens enamel and helps prevent tooth decay. Fluoride is not just for children. Patients of all ages can receive significant benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Cleanings

Why do I need a dental cleaning when I brush and floss daily?

No matter how well you brush and floss, these techniques will not remove tartar. Tartar is a complex substance formed by plaque and bacteria. Tartar is the primary cause of gum disease.

Why do my gums bleed when I have my teeth cleaned?

If your gums bleed during cleaning, you likely have gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. Fortunately, gingivitis can be reversed through proper brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits.

Call Oak Road Dentistry

A dental cleaning will improve your oral health and help to prevent future problems like tooth decay and gum disease. Even if it has been some time since your last cleaning, we can help you get back on track. To make an appointment in our Snellville, GA, office, please call 770-985-9559.