Neglecting your oral health not only harms your teeth but also has negative impacts on various aspects of your life. From missing teeth to infections and pain, these issues can hinder your social interactions and limit your enjoyment of food. The consequences go beyond physical discomfort and can affect your social life and mental well-being. To ensure overall health and well-being, it is essential to prioritize excellent oral care.

Maintaining good oral health is crucial, and regular teeth cleaning, also known as dental prophylaxis, plays a vital role. At South Coast Dentistry in Aliso Viejo, we provide comprehensive dental care services that include prophylaxis. During this procedure, our skilled team will thoroughly clean your teeth, gums, and mouth to prevent gingivitis and periodontal diseases. Our dentists typically recommend a check-up every six months, but we can suggest more frequent procedures based on your unique needs.

Benefits of Dental Prophylaxis

Regular dental prophylaxis offers numerous benefits for your oral health, which include the following:

  • Fresh Breath

During dental prophylaxis, your oral health specialist will clean your gums, teeth, and oral cavity. This vital process effectively eliminates hidden food particles and helps prevent the formation of plaque caused by oral bacteria. Remember, maintaining a clean mouth is crucial for achieving optimal oral health.

Proper oral hygiene is crucial for avoiding the negative consequences of leftover food particles in your mouth. Neglecting to remove these particles can lead to infections, bacterial growth, and periodontal diseases, which could result in bad breath and other oral health issues. By practicing dental prophylaxis, you not only prevent these problems but also ensure fresh breath throughout the day.

  • Boosts your Confidence

Sometimes, your confidence could be affected, especially if you have yellowing or stained teeth. However, regular dental prophylaxis can help remove these stains, giving you a bright smile to conquer your day confidently.

  • Helps in Removing Tartar Buildup

Even with regular oral hygiene practices, food particles can still linger in your mouth, resulting in plaque buildup and potential gum diseases. To ensure a thorough cleaning, dentists should utilize specialized instruments during dental prophylaxis. These tools effectively identify, remove, and prevent tartar or plaque buildup, thereby safeguarding your oral health.

  • Prevention of Other Health Issues

Dental prophylaxis goes beyond oral exams, encompassing vital screenings for conditions such as periodontal diseases and oral cancer. By detecting signs of other health issues like kidney problems or diabetes, your dentist plays a crucial role in proactive disease management. Moreover, they can provide personalized recommendations to help prevent these conditions altogether.

Preparations for the Teeth Cleaning Procedure

Proper preparation is crucial for a successful and comfortable teeth-cleaning experience. While it might seem like all you need to do is sit back in the dental chair, taking the time to prepare yourself can make a significant difference. By doing so, you will not only feel more in control but also ensure that the procedure goes smoothly and without any hiccups.

To ensure a smooth teeth cleaning procedure, there are a few simple things you need to do. These include:

Floss and Brush

It’s essential to brush your teeth before leaving home. Not only will this freshen your breath, but it will also allow your dentist to assess the quality of your oral hygiene. By taking this step, you are preventing the spread of germs and promoting good oral health.

Take Pain Relievers

During a dental cleaning, the build-up of plaque and tartar can lead to gum swelling. To minimize any discomfort, it is advisable to take a painkiller before and after the procedure. If you have any concerns or experience bleeding issues, you can consult with your healthcare provider or dentist, who can provide suitable pain relief options.

Don’t Whiten Your Teeth

To create a positive impression on your dentist and demonstrate your commitment to oral health, it is crucial to strike the right balance when it comes to teeth whitening. While it could be tempting to go all in, excessive whitening can lead to tooth sensitivity and diminish the effectiveness of your regular cleaning routine.

It is advisable to opt for teeth whitening immediately after a professional cleaning for optimal results. This timing ensures that your teeth are in their most responsive state, with no plaque or tartar present on the surface. Your dentist will be impressed by the brilliance of your smile and your smart approach to maintaining it.

Brushing Correctly

Maintaining excellent oral health requires regular brushing, but it's important to find the right balance. Overbrushing can have negative effects on your teeth, such as making them porous. However, by using proper brushing techniques, you can prevent tooth sensitivity and make the cleaning process more comfortable and effective.

Note Down Any Queries You Might Have

When visiting the dentist, anxiety can sometimes cause you to forget important questions. To ensure that all your concerns are addressed, it's essential to note down any questions you have beforehand. This way, you can cover all the bases and leave the appointment feeling satisfied. Additionally, make sure to take note of any unusual observations during brushing that could be crucial during your dental evaluation. By staying proactive in maintaining your oral health, you can ensure a good dental experience.

Stay Calm During the Procedure

Approximately 45% of American adults experience fear when visiting their dentist, which is a significant percentage. It’s normal to feel anxious about dental visits, but you shouldn’t let that fear prevent you from taking care of your oral health. There are simple steps you can take to ease your anxiety. Start by taking a deep breath and slowly letting it out when you're in the dental chair. Additionally, playing your favorite playlist in the background can help create a more relaxed environment while your dentist cleans your teeth.

Don't allow dental anxiety to hinder you from receiving the necessary care. By openly discussing your concerns with your dentist, you can find helpful solutions. They could recommend options like nitrous oxide or short-term anti-anxiety medications to help you feel more comfortable during your visit. Your dentist prioritizes your comfort, so feel free to explore these options without hesitation.

Reschedule Your Dental Appointment if You’re Unwell

When you're sick, your immune system becomes vulnerable, which can make teeth cleaning risky. The process typically involves teeth scraping to remove plaque, but it can also cause gum irritation. This irritation can potentially lead to bacteremia, where bacteria from your mouth enter your bloodstream. It's crucial to carefully consider the potential risks involved when getting your teeth cleaned while you're sick.

It is crucial to inform your dentist if you are currently taking any medication or experiencing any health issues. Although dental procedures are generally safe, being sick or having a weakened immune system can potentially increase risks and harm your overall health. By sharing this information with your dentist, they can provide appropriate advice and ensure your well-being during treatment.

Give a Signal if You’re Uncomfortable

It is common to have concerns about communicating with your dentist during a dental procedure, especially when experiencing pain or needing a break. However, you can easily address this issue by discussing and agreeing upon a sign or signal that you can use to let your dentist know when you want them to stop. This simple solution will ensure effective communication and help alleviate any anxiety you may have during your dental visit.

Carry your Oral Device

It is crucial to bring your oral appliance with you for your scheduled teeth cleaning if you use it to manage sleep apnea. Whether you have guards or orthodontic work for grinding, always carry these devices so they can be properly cleaned. Just like your teeth, these devices can accumulate plaque and tartar, but your dentist will thoroughly clean them by placing them in an ultrasonic machine. Keep them clean and ready for use after your teeth cleaning session.

The General Steps of Teeth Cleaning

Having your teeth cleaned during regular dental check-ups or when there are signs of gum disease is crucial. It not only keeps your teeth and gums healthy but also protects you from harmful bacteria. To ensure your safety, your dentist will take extra precautions by placing a tube in your mouth to protect your lungs during the procedure. The teeth cleaning process will involve several steps, which include:

Mouth Examination

During a dental examination, your dentist will use a concave mirror to assess your oral health. This comprehensive process enables them to identify any potential issues, such as tartar buildup, tooth discoloration, or gum inflammation.

Your dentist can effectively prioritize and address problem areas by pinpointing them. If any periodontal disease or cavities are detected, a customized treatment plan will be developed specifically for your needs. Rest assured that this examination ensures that you receive the highest level of care for optimal oral health.


During this step, your dentist will use a scaler to effectively remove tartar and plaque buildup on your teeth and along the gum line. There are two types of scalers available: manual and ultrasonic. If the plaque buildup is minimal, your dentist will use a manual scaler.

However, if you have a significant amount of plaque buildup, an ultrasonic scaler will be utilized. When using a manual scaler, you can feel a scraping sensation as your dentist works on your teeth. On the other hand, an ultrasonic scaler will provide gentle vibrations in your mouth. The ultrasonic scaler uses water to remove the plaque deposits from your mouth.

Scaling involves the following:

  • Supra-Gingival Cleaning

Supra-gingival cleaning is a crucial aspect of dental care. During this procedure, your dentist will expertly utilize specialized scaling tools to efficiently eliminate plaque and tartar from the challenging-to-reach spaces between your teeth and gum line. This comprehensive cleaning promotes a healthier smile and facilitates optimal oral hygiene.

  • Subgingival Cleaning

Subgingival cleaning is a dental procedure where your dental professional thoroughly cleans the areas beneath the gum line, effectively removing plaque and tartar buildup from your gum pockets. If you’re experiencing periodontal diseases, this type of cleaning can greatly benefit you.

Root Planing

To ensure the health of your teeth and gums, dentists perform a root planing procedure to effectively remove bacteria from the tooth root. This crucial step helps prevent any potential complications, particularly in cases of periodontal diseases. Rest assured that your dentist will take the necessary actions to prioritize your well-being.


After a thorough cleaning, your dentist will go the extra mile to polish your teeth using a prophylaxis paste and a handheld electronic gadget. This process involves a gentle grinding motion that effectively removes any remaining stains. To further ensure your oral health, your dentist or oral hygienist will also floss your teeth to eliminate traces of tartar or plaque. Rest assured, this comprehensive dental care routine will ensure that your smile looks and feels its best.

Fluoride Treatment

Fluoride treatment is a common practice during tooth cleaning at dental offices. It involves the application of a fluoride gel inside a mouthpiece that you wear for approximately one minute. This simple yet effective procedure is designed to protect your teeth and maintain excellent oral hygiene.

Antibiotic Application

To ensure a speedy recovery and minimize discomfort after dental procedures such as root planing or scaling, it is vital to apply an antibiotic cream. This will promote faster healing and provide relief for any discomfort in your gum pockets.

Regular X-ray Scanning

X-ray examinations are a valuable tool in the management and treatment of gingivitis and periodontal diseases. They not only help dentists identify ongoing issues but also evaluate the effectiveness of treatments. With the assistance of X-rays, dentists can make well-informed decisions regarding your oral health.

Steps To Take After Teeth Cleaning Procedure

After undergoing a teeth cleaning procedure, it is important to prioritize and maintain optimal dental health. Here are the measures you should take:

Wait Until the Numbness Wears Off

To ensure a comfortable dental experience, dentists often use local anesthesia during tooth cleaning to numb the jaw. It is advisable to wait until the numbness wears off before enjoying a delicious meal. This guarantees a pleasurable dining experience without any discomfort.

Eat Right After a Dental Cleaning

After getting your teeth cleaned, you may feel tempted to eat right away. However, it's important to keep in mind that your teeth and gums might be sensitive at this time. To ensure a comfortable experience, it's best to avoid consuming extremely hot or cold foods immediately after your cleaning.

Wait For Some Time Before Eating If You Have Had a Fluoride Treatment

To maximize the benefits of fluoride treatment and teeth cleaning, it is crucial to refrain from eating immediately afterward. It typically takes around 30 minutes for the fluoride treatment to set on your teeth properly. Waiting until it fully seals ensures optimal results and promotes good oral health. Fluoride treatment offers numerous benefits for your dental health. It not only strengthens your teeth and protects them from decay but also aids in the restoration of tooth enamel, promoting long-lasting oral wellness.

  • Foods That You Can Eat After Dental Cleaning

After a teeth cleaning procedure, you should allow your teeth some time before eating any meal. While you are free to eat right away, it is advisable to wait until the sensitivity subsides. In the meantime, you can enjoy foods such as soft foods, hard-boiled eggs, and soups that won't exacerbate any discomfort.

To maintain a healthy smile, it’s essential to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Not only does this prevent dehydration, but it also helps preserve the whiteness of your freshly cleaned teeth. Additionally, it is wise to avoid sugary drinks and foods that can be abrasive to sensitive teeth. Furthermore, it is recommended to avoid sticky, spicy, crunchy, or citrus-containing foods for a while to further protect your dental health.

Take Note of Any Pain or Discomfort

It’s normal to experience some discomfort after a teeth cleaning. You may notice swelling or tenderness in your gums, as well as increased sensitivity to hot or cold foods. Rest assured that these symptoms usually subside within a few days. However, if the pain persists, you should consult your dentist for further evaluation and guidance.

Take your Prescribed Medication Regularly

After a dental cleaning, your dentist could prescribe pain medication and antibiotics if necessary. It is crucial to follow their instructions and take the medications as prescribed to achieve optimal comfort and effectively manage any potential infections.

Use Water and Salt for Rinsing

Rinsing your mouth with a simple solution of salt and water is an effective way to reduce inflammation after teeth cleaning. To reap the benefits to your oral health, you can develop a habit of rinsing your mouth two or three times a day.

Maintain Good Oral Health

Although it might be challenging to brush and floss immediately after a teeth cleaning procedure due to sensitivity, it is crucial to prioritize oral hygiene once the sensitivity reduces. Consistently brushing at least twice a day and regularly flossing are essential for maintaining good oral health. Additionally, it is important to replace your toothbrush every three months and use proper brushing techniques for effective teeth cleaning. By following these steps, you can ensure long-term oral health.

Find an Aliso Viejo Teeth Cleaning Dentist Near Me

Taking care of your oral health is crucial for your overall well-being. Regular teeth cleaning and dental check-ups not only promote healthy teeth and gums but also play a crucial role in the early detection of diseases like diabetes. By visiting your dentist, you can undergo a comprehensive examination and receive a personalized treatment plan if necessary.

At South Coast Dentistry in Aliso Viejo, our team comprises qualified oral health specialists who will conduct a thorough examination and develop a personalized treatment plan specifically for you. Call us now at 949-274-9086 to book your appointment.