A trip to the dentist isn’t something most people look forward to, but with common diets consisting of sugary drinks and habits that lead to unhealthy teeth, they are needed more than ever. The whole family will benefit from regular dental care. Family dental care can prevent tooth decay, remove the buildup of plaque, and determine if fillings or other procedures are needed. If you’re looking for a local dentist, contact the trustworthy dentists at First Hill Dental Center. If it’s been awhile since you’ve had a dental cleaning, here’s what to expect.

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Medical Examination

When first visiting a dentist, an examination is done to determine your dental history. You will be asked questions regarding your medical history, including if there were childhood or family diseases, social history including tobacco or alcohol use, and if there are any medications being taken.

There will also be a physical examination of the crowns of the teeth, or what is above the gum line. This will help determine if there are any visible signs of disease and to see the overall health of the teeth. A dental hygienist will look at the color of the teeth, will evaluate your “bite” to establish if there are misalignments of the teeth and jaw, and they will do an examination of the gums.

X-rays will also be taken in order to see the roots of your teeth, or what is below the gum line. Several different images will be captured in order to see if there are extra teeth, jaw fractures, signs of bone loss or decay, and to get an overall understanding of the health of your teeth.

The Cleaning

After the initial examination is done, a thorough cleaning is performed on your teeth. The cleaning done by a dental hygienist is more in-depth than what can be done at home, which is why a regular visit to your family dentist is so important.

Family Dental CareRemoving Plaque and Tartar

The hygienist will use a mirror and a scaler to scrape around the gum line to remove plaque and tartar that has built up. This step in the cleaning can leave patients feeling uneasy, but the scraping of the teeth is an essential part of having clean and healthy teeth. Once tartar has built up on your teeth, it can only be removed at the dentist, so brushing and flossing every day will make this step easier.

Toothpaste Cleaning & Flossing

Using a high-powered electric toothbrush, a hygienist will brush away any remaining traces of tartar. The toothpaste has a gritty consistency which scrubs and polishes the teeth. This can be done at your six-month checkups, but any more than that will wear out the enamel of your teeth. A professional flossing is also done to ensure that there aren’t any spots that are missed and remove leftover plaque that toothpaste misses.

Fluoride Treatment

Possibly the longest minute of the dentist visit, a gel is placed in a mouthpiece that fits over your teeth. This treatment acts as a protecting agent to prevent cavities over the next several months.

Most dental cleanings will take around 30 minutes but will keep your teeth protected until your next visit. If you’re looking for family dental care, or if you need dental implants, teeth whitening, or even an emergency dentist, First Hill Dental Center has everything you need. Come in today and your teeth will be thanking you!