Routine Dental Cleanings and Examinations for Patients of All Ages!
At Rodeo Dental & Orthodontics, our general and pediatric dentists are ready to serve patients as young as 12 months and as old as grandma and grandpa! While you relax and watch TV, our dentists and hygienists will clean your teeth and examine your mouth to make sure everything is healthy, sparkling white, and in good working order.
What Happens During a Dental Cleaning?
Even if your teeth appear healthy or are not causing any pain, you still need to see a dentist regularly to have your teeth cleaned. Brushing and flossing help minimize problems, but at home care can’t prevent all buildup of plaque and tartar.
During a cleaning, the hygienist will:
- Use a special tool called a dental scaler to remove plaque and tartar buildup on teeth and below the gum line
- Polish your teeth with a rotating brush and special paste to leave them smooth and less vulnerable to plaque accumulation
- Floss your teeth to make sure that no plaque or paste remains stuck in between them
Sometimes patients (especially children) will also receive a fluoride rinse as part of their cleaning.
What Happens During a Dental Exam?
As part of your cleaning visit, your dentist will also perform a full exam of your mouth. These exams help diagnose and prevent a wide range of oral health problems so that significant dental problems can be avoided.
During some visits, your dentist will also have x-rays made of your teeth (the frequency depends on patient age, dental history, and current health conditions). Some of the problems the dentist looks for during exams and by using x-rays include:
- Gum disease (periodontal disease)
- Teeth grinding
- Cysts or abscesses
- Impacted wisdom teeth
- Cracked or leaking fillings
- Oral cancer
The dentist will also examine any existing dental work or dental appliances to make sure they are still functioning properly.
Pediatric Dental Cleanings
A child should undergo his or her first formal visit to the dentist by 12 months of age. All of our pediatric dentists have an additional two to three years of specialized dental training, and they are experts at working with children!
To prepare your child for his or her dental visit, we recommend the following:
- Take them along to a sibling or friend’s dentist appointment to help eliminate fear.
- Answer any questions they might have, but avoid going into too much detail. You might tell them the dentist will look at their teeth and take pictures with a special camera, for example.
- Read them a book about going to the dentist.
- Play dentist for fun, counting your child’s teeth and shining a light in their mouth. Then take turns and let them count yours.
- Always remain calm with regards to the dentist or the visit. You don’t want the child to feel that something is wrong.
It is also important to avoid scary words like hurt, shot, pull or drill. Pediatric dentists and hygienists have a special vocabulary they use to explain dental procedures to children in a non-scary way.
Are Dental Cleanings Painful?
For most patients, dental cleanings are completely painless! You may feel a vibration, a tickling sensation, or some pressure on the tooth’s surface, but these sensations are short-lived and generally not painful at all.
Still feeling a little nervous about getting a cleaning and check-up? Rodeo Dental offers sedation dentistry, numbing gels and other options to reduce stress for patients with anxiety or dental fears. And it really does work. So come on in!