July 1, 2021 Frank P. Ruffino DDS

teeth cleaning dentists shelby township mi

What to Expect During a Teeth Cleaning

In general, we recommend that our patients see us every 6 months for a routine teeth cleaning and oral examination. But we may need to see you more often if you have a condition that requires close monitoring. For example, you may need to see our dentists more frequently if you have periodontitis.

It’s not uncommon for patients to feel a little nervous about their upcoming appointments. That’s why we want to give you the information you need to feel confident about your preventive dental care.

Here’s what you need to know.

Patient Forms

If this is your first appointment with us, please take a moment to fill out our new patient forms. This will help expedite your first visit. Otherwise, you may also fill out these forms at our office. But we recommend showing up a few minutes early so you have enough time to complete them before your appointment.

If you’re already a patient, we’ll ask you to update your medical history as needed. That way, our dentists and their team will be able to develop a care plan that’s tailored to your specific needs.

Dental X-Rays

We may need to take new dental X-rays depending on how long it’s been since your last ones. X-rays are important because they help us detect any issues that could be lurking beneath the surface. For example, bitewing X-rays allows us to detect small cavities between teeth.

If you have relatively healthy teeth and gums, then you may only need X-rays every few years. But you may need X-rays taken more often if you have a history of oral health problems or if we detect an area of concern during your last visit.

Initial Examination

One of our dental hygienists will examine your teeth and gums for any obvious issues. If they detect an issue that requires immediate attention, they’ll flag down one of our dentists. Otherwise, they’ll move onto the next step of your dental cleaning appointment.

Plaque and Tartar Removal

Your hygienist will use a special dental tool called a scaler to gently remove plaque and tartar buildup.

Plaque is an invisible film of bacteria that lives inside the mouth and feeds on sugar. In return, it produces an acid that erodes your enamel and attacks your gums.

If you’ve been practicing good oral hygiene at home, the hygienist won’t have much plaque and tartar to remove. But that doesn’t mean you should skip your teeth cleaning appointments.

While you can remove plaque by brushing and flossing your teeth, only a dental professional will be able to remove tartar. That’s why it’s important that you see your dentist at least every 6 months for preventive care.

Teeth Polishing and Flossing

Your hygienist will ask you to select a flavor of tooth polish, such as mint or cinnamon. Next, they’ll use a high-powered toothbrush to polish your teeth. This will help to remove any remaining plaque or tartar.

Plaque loves to hide where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. That’s why your dental hygienist will also floss to remove any plaque or food particles caught between teeth.

Final Examination by Dentist

One of our dentists will come around to do the final examination. They’ll also look over your X-rays and diagnose any oral health issues that came up during the appointment.

This is also a great opportunity for you to ask questions about your oral hygiene routine. Our dentists would be more than happy to listen to your concerns and answer your questions.

If any issues come up during your appointment, your dentist will develop a custom treatment plan that’s tailored to your needs.

Request an Appointment With Us

Our family dentists in Shelby Township, MI, are accepting new patients of all ages. To request an appointment, please call the dental office of Frank P. Ruffino DDS at (586) 799-4240. You may also fill out our online contact form and someone from our team will reach out to you soon.

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