Don’t Skip Dental Cleanings!
When was your last dental cleaning? Whether it was a few months ago or a few years ago, the office of Jeffrey A. Stratford-Jones, DDS is happy to welcome you. We offer top-tier dental cleanings and preventative measures for our Santa Barbara, CA patients. Our team understands the importance of regular checkups, but we also realize that many people have anxiety about the dentist. We strive to create a relaxing, welcoming environment for everyone, no matter their current oral health. Learn more about dental cleanings and how you can make your appointment.
What Happens During a Dental Cleaning?
A dental cleaning is a routine procedure to eliminate plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth. We’ll clean up the gum line and those hard-to-reach areas you might miss with a toothbrush. Our professional teeth cleanings include these steps:
- Tartar Removal: Tartar, or calculus, is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth’s surface for an extended period of time and can only be removed with special instruments. Your hygienist will remove the tartar from the tooth’s surface and under the gum line.
- Plaque Removal: Plaque is a sticky, nearly invisible film that forms on the teeth as you go about your day. It’s made up of bacteria, food debris, and saliva, and left alone for too long, this plaque buildup can inflame the gums. During your cleaning, we’ll take special care to get rid of all the plaque.
- Teeth Polishing: Once all the tartar and plaque are no more, we’ll begin polishing your teeth for a shiny clean. This process removes any stains and plaque that remain after the initial removal.
When Do I Need a Deep Cleaning?
Some patients need more than just a standard dental cleaning procedure. If you’re experiencing inflammation or other signs of periodontal disease, we may recommend a deep cleaning. This process goes the extra mile to prevent further infection and help the gums heal. You may need a deep cleaning if you notice any of these symptoms:
- Swollen gums
- Sensitive gums
- Gum recession
- Loose teeth
- Changes in bite
- Bad breath
What to Expect After a Cleaning?
After your appointment, the work isn’t done! We encourage our patients to take certain aftercare measures once they’re done with their cleaning. In the few hours following your appointment, you may notice slight discomfort, but this should subside on its own within the next day or so. We also recommend taking the following steps after a dental cleaning and preventive care:
- Don’t eat or drink for about 30 minutes—Waiting a half hour before eating or drinking anything gives fluoride enough time to bond with the tooth enamel. This will allow you to get the most out of a fluoride treatment.
- Brush with soft bristles—The night after your appointment, we recommend brushing gently with a soft-bristled brush. While your teeth may feel spick and span after a professional cleaning, you should never skip your nightly brushing.
- Avoid hot food and drink for four hours—We suggest waiting about four hours before eating or drinking anything hot. Not only can heat be uncomfortable for sensitive gums, but it can also dissolve the fluoride before it has bonded properly.
Why Prevention Is So Important
Many people are tempted to skip dental cleanings and prevention appointments. But even if you aren’t experiencing any oral health problems at the moment, it’s crucial to see a dentist at least twice a year. These visits are an important preventative measure that helps us catch issues early and avoid the need for invasive treatments. Here are a few reasons why prevention is so important:
- We can monitor your oral health and catch problems early
- You may not have to spend additional time and money on more dental treatments
- Patients learn about best practices for keeping their teeth clean and healthy at home
- You can minimize bad breath and correct a crooked or stained smile
Look to Our Santa Barbara Team for Your Dental Health
The team at the office of Jeffrey A. Stratford-Jones, DDS is dedicated to bringing you the gold standard in dental care. We’re always glad to answer your questions, whether you’re wondering about the dental cleaning cost or how long your appointment will take. Our team is committed to welcoming patients of all backgrounds, no matter their current health. Even if it’s been a long time since your last cleaning, we’re happy to have you. Contact us today and set up an appointment.