After your initial exam during your appointment, if appropriate, we will begin cleaning your teeth to remove any built up plaque or tartar on your teeth. As we clean your teeth, we will continue to exam your teeth and gums for anything that requires attention, such as signs of tooth decay, cracks, cavities or other tooth issues. Our hygienists are very thorough to ensure you leave each teeth cleaning appointment with your teeth sparkling!
Following the cleaning of your teeth, we will polish your teeth using your choice of polish flavor. Also known as the “tickle toothbrush,” this part of your appointment allows us to clean off any stubborn microparticals on your teeth so your teeth will feel completely smooth. It’s here that your teeth begin to sparkle!
When you hear that flossing is important, it really is! After polishing your teeth, your hygienist will floss all of your teeth to get any remaining plaque off your teeth and ensure your gums are healthy. Did you know flossing isn’t just used to keep your teeth clean? It actually helps fight gum disease and can help eliminate bad breath!
The last step in your teeth cleaning appointment may be fluoride. Fluoride is used primarily to prevent tooth decay. In children we routinely give fluoride treatments during the “cavity prone years.” In adults we reserve fluoride treatments for patients that are prone to decay, for sensitivity or have had a lot of previous dental work.
It’s true that your tap water will likely contain a small amount fluoride. Fluoride in water works the best on children as their teeth are developing and erupting. For adults there is still some benefit, especially for those who have higher decay rates. Our water supplies are optimally fluoridated to 0.8ppm. If you have a filtering or reverse osmosis system at your home, bring in a sample of water and we’ll provide you with a free water fluoride level test!
Over the counter fluoridated toothpastes typically have 1000 ppm fluoride. Over the counter rinses such as ACT rinse and our prescription high fluoride toothpastes contains 5000 ppm. The fluoride varnish that we use contains 25,000ppm fluoride.
Sometimes we use specially made trays, like bleach trays, to hold the fluoride product on your teeth longer and in higher concentration. We have many alternative treatments with our fluoride choices to tailor a plan to your individual needs.