No More Natural Teeth: Deciding Between Implants and Dentures

Teeth Cleaning Myths & The Facts Every Patient Should Know

by Jeremiah Barnett

How long has it been since you visited a dentist for teeth cleaning? If you've put off your dental hygiene appointment, it may be related to a few prevalent myths about the routine procedure. Check out a few of the most common myths about teeth cleaning below. 

Myth: Having your teeth cleaned annually is actually bad for your teeth. 

This is one of the most troublesome myths that many patients believe when it comes to getting their teeth cleaned by the dentist. Many assume that as long as you brush and floss regularly, there is no need for a dental hygiene appointment. Even worse, some fall for the myth that cleaning your teeth causes some level of damage to the enamel. Teeth cleaning does not involve abrasive cleaning agents; only water and light scouring tools are used to clear away plaque. This does not cause damage to the enamel. 

Myth: You have to get shots in order to get your teeth cleaned. 

Local anesthetic injections are not necessary during teeth cleaning. Therefore, if you always dread getting shots in your mouth, you don't have to dread the appointment to get your teeth cleaned. In very rare cases, such as when deep teeth cleaning is done below the gum line, injections may be used. However, cleaning should not be painful enough to warrant numbing the mouth before the procedure. 

Myth: The dentist will clean your teeth even if you visit for another reason. 

If you visit the dentist for an extraction or to get a cavity filled, you will probably not get your teeth cleaned during that appointment. Some dentists will have patients come in on the same day for a dental hygiene appointment and teeth cleaning, but cleaning is not simply automatically a part of every dental procedure. This myth stems from the fact that the dentist usually cleans the area around a cavity or extraction site before performing the procedure. However, all of the teeth will not be cleaned. 

Myth: Children do not need teeth cleaning appointments. 

Dental hygiene appointments are even more important for children than adults. Most pediatric dentists will recommend children get their teeth cleaned twice a year for this reason, while adults may only need one appointment. Children do not do the best job of brushing and flossing. Therefore, there is a greater risk of decay if the teeth are not professionally cleaned on a regular basis. 

Contact your dentist for more information about teeth cleaning