What Dental Hygienists Use To Clean Your Teeth

Some time ago, dentists would clean patients' teeth. In recent years, that job is par for the course for dental hygienists. There are a handful of tools and cleaners used to clean your teeth, and some of them might never touch your teeth at all.

If you are curious as to what goes into a dental hygienist's cleaning kit, here it is.

The Gritty Stuff

When you sit in the dentist's chair and the hygienist applies something gritty to your teeth, you cannot help but get some on your tongue. It has the consistency of wet sand and makes you want to spit it out or gag on it when you swallow it by accident.

This gritty stuff is actually polish paste, and it helps the hygienist loosen the tartar on your teeth while polishing away surface stains. Although it is relatively harmless, you should avoid swallowing a whole pot of it as it is not good for your digestive tract.

The "Pick"

The tool that probably makes most people shudder is the pick. This thin-handled tool with a sharply pointed hook on the end scrapes away loosened tartar and gets under the gums to plaque buildup your toothbrush cannot reach. The sound of it scraping against your teeth makes you wonder if it is not damaging your teeth, but you can rest assured that the tool is designed to be really safe for teeth cleaning and will not harm the enamel on your teeth.

The Squishy Trays of Goo

These mouth trays are filled with a fluoride treatment and put in your mouth for about ten minutes. Unless you have a genetic disorder that prevents you from building up the enamel on your teeth or you are a child, you can skip this step in the cleaning process. Of course, if you like flavored goo and chomping down on squishy mouth trays, you can request it as part of your semi-annual cleaning.

"Brushing" with the Oscillating Rubber Thing and Flossing

Often the final step in a dental cleaning, a tool with an oscillating rubber cup on the end "brushes" your teeth. The hygienist will offer you several squirts of water from the water pik on the dental table and then continue to clear away any of the other cleaners and reinforcers applied. You know your cleaning is almost complete when the hygienist reaches for a spool of dental floss and flosses between all of your teeth to remove any of the last traces of the gritty stuff, flakes of tartar/plaque, and/or squishy goo.

If you have more questions, contact a company like Carolina Forest Family Dentistry to learn more.