What to Expect During a Dental Cleaning in Annandale, VA

It is not uncommon for people to have questions concerning a dental cleaning and this applies to Annandale, VA residents. After all, what is supposed to be a simple and routine procedure typically comes with scraping, prodding, strange noises and occasional discomfort. Dr. Steven Johnson and his staff at Annandale Smiles understands their patient’s apprehension and have taken the time to answer some of their patients most frequently asked questions. They hope that this will clear up any fear or misgiving about dental cleaning that might be preventing their Annandale, VA patients from visiting the dentist on a regular basis.

1. How often should a dental cleaning be performed?

The American Dental Association recommends that everyone visit the dentist at least once a year, though most suggest every six months. This simple procedure not only removes the plaque and tartar that can be missed by regular brushing and flossing but also detects any issues before they become painful and expensive problems.

2. Is it easy to make an appointment?

Making an appointment for a dental cleaning in Annandale, VA is extremely easy. This is especially true if it is made with Annandale Smiles. The friendly office personnel will schedule an appointment at the patient’s earliest convenience, and it only takes a few minutes over the phone. Annandale Smiles knows that their clients have busy schedules and this is why they keep extended hours. This dental office is even open on Saturdays to make it even easier for their patients to schedule an appointment. It is this dedication to their patients that has earned Annandale Smiles an A+ rating on Angie’s List.

3. What is the first step in a dental cleaning in Annandale, VA?

Once the patient is settled into one of Annandale Smiles incredibly comfortable exam rooms, the highly trained dental hygienist will perform a physical exam of the teeth and gums. Using a small mirror, they will look for noticeable signs of cavities, gingivitis and anything else that might be of potential concern. This step is one of many that will make sure that the patient has good oral health before they leave the dental office.

4. How will plaque and tartar be removed?

Plaque and tartar build-up is normal and will occur no matter how often or well a person brushes. While sonic toothbrushes can remove up to 99.9 percent of plaque and tartar, there will still be some left behind. Over time this buildup can result in cavities, inflamed gums and other oral health issues that can be easily prevented with regular visits to the dentist.

To ensure that this doesn’t happen to their patients, Annandale Smiles will carefully check for and remove any plaque and tartar that might be hiding between teeth or underneath the gum line. Using the small mirror and scaler, the dental hygienist will carefully scrape this buildup away. While the noise can be disconcerting, it is the best way to ensure that their patient’s mouth is truly clean.

5. What is “gritty” toothpaste cleaning?

While the scraping away of plaque and tartar might be one of the least pleasant parts of a routine dental cleaning for some Annandale, VA patients, this step isn’t always a favorite either. Once all of the tartar has been removed, it is time to clean and polish the teeth. It is important to note that polishing teeth anywhere other than at a dentist office will significantly reduce tooth enamel, and this is something that can’t be replaced.

The gritty toothpaste is available in several flavors, but the consistency is necessary if patients want their teeth to be the cleanest they can be. The dental hygienist will use a high powered toothbrush, and the noise can be alarming to some patients. If this part of the cleaning is too upsetting for some people, Annandale Smiles is more than happy to offer free nitrous oxide to help them relax. If this is not enough, they are also more than qualified to provide minimal sedative treatment during the dental cleaning for any Annandale, VA patient that might require something a little stronger. Over time most people overcome their trepidation and realize that the simple procedure isn’t as stressful as they once thought that it was.

6. Will flossing be a part of the procedure?

While Annandale Smiles and the American Dental Association recommend flossing at least twice a day, it is something that many patients simply don’t do. This simple step will prevent many oral health problems, and it can significantly reduce the amount of time spent scraping tartar off teeth during the dental cleaning in Annandale, VA.

The dental hygienist not only flosses to ensure that all of the plaque and tartar is removed but to also check for any tender or bleeding gums. This could indicate gingivitis or another oral health problem. Most issues with a patient’s teeth and gums can be resolved relatively easily, but if an oral health problem is ignored, it could eventually affect their overall well-being.

7. Why does the dental hygienist make their patients frequently rinse their mouths?

During the dental cleaning Annandale, VA patients might notice that they are often asked to rinse out their mouths. After the scraping and brushing, most patients will be asked to rinse, and very few ever balk at the idea. Not only are their mouths frequently dry, but they can also feel the bits of debris floating around. This is never a pleasant feeling.

Allowing patients to periodically rinse out their mouths gives them an opportunity to take a short break. With the debris gone, it is also easier for the dental hygienist to see if any plaque or tartar might be left on the teeth. As an added bonus the rinse often contains a fluoride treatment that will give teeth and gums a little-added protection. At Annandale Smiles, it is this attention to every small but important detail that has made them one of the premier dental practices in the area.

8. Why is a fluoride treatment an important part of a dental cleaning?

Fluoride is an important part of a dental cleaning for patients in Annandale, VA for one reason. This last step of the cleaning will provide patients with added protection against cavities. Annandale Smiles wants to stress that this does not mean that brushing and flossing at least twice a day at home isn’t still extremely important, this does significantly reduce their risk for developing cavities before their next visit.

Annandale Smiles is also happy to report that their patients have their choice of flavors. In most cases, this will be mint, bubblegum or a fruity flavor. The fluoride treatment will be applied to the patient’s teeth and allowed to sit for one minute. Afterward, the patient will be able to rinse the fluoride treatment from their teeth.

9. Are there any other potential steps in a dental cleaning?

Annandale Smiles is proud to be able to provide a wide range of services to their patients, regardless of their age. This also applies to their dental cleanings. When it comes to children in some cases, the dental staff at Annandale Smiles might recommend having a molar sealant applied to ensure cavities do not develop in areas that little kids might find hard to brush properly. For parents with children that do not brush as well as they should, this treatment could save them money on future oral health problems that could have been easily prevented.

Once a year Annandale Smiles will also include x-rays with the dental cleaning. This is due to the fact that most major insurance companies only cover one procedure a year. If a problem is thought to have been noticed, Dr. Johnson or one of his associates might recommend having x-rays done after the cleaning. Thanks to their competitive prices and in-house plans, most patients find that they can afford to have this procedure performed as often as it is needed.

It is this firm belief that everyone should have access to the best affordable dental care that has ensured Annandale Smiles success for the past forty years.