When was the last time that you went to the dentist to have your teeth cleaned? For most people, it is a good idea to go to the dentist about every six months for a regular cleaning and checkup. It is an important step when it comes to maintaining optimal oral health. If it has been a few years since your last visit, you may be wondering: do teeth cleanings hurt? Continue reading to learn more about what you can expect when you go in for a professional cleaning.
Does It Hurt to Have a Teeth Cleaning?
The short answer is – no. It shouldn’t cause you pain when you are having your teeth cleaned by a hygienist. However, there can be some complicating factors that can cause you to have teeth that are especially sensitive. For example, if your gums are inflamed, you have tooth decay, or you are dealing with another oral health issue, you could experience some discomfort. If you feel pain during your cleaning, you should always let your hygienist or dentist know. This way, they can take steps to help you have a more comfortable experience.
How Can You Reduce Pain During Teeth Cleanings?
If you have sensitive teeth and find that cleanings are uncomfortable, here are a few steps you can take to have a more tolerable experience:
- Pain relievers: Ask your dentist if you would benefit from taking ibuprofen or another over-the-counter pain reliever. It will reduce the inflammatory reaction and help to prevent discomfort.
- Numbing: If you are experiencing pain, ask your dental team if they have a topical anesthetic that they can use. This helps to numb the area and contribute to a more comfortable experience.
- Sensitivity toothpaste: Choose a desensitizing toothpaste from your local drug store. This will help to reduce discomfort for people who have sensitive teeth, but it may take a few weeks to notice the difference.
- Oral hygiene: Brush and floss after meals. The better your oral hygiene is, the easier your cleanings are going to be.
- Brush gently: If you are brushing too hard, this can damage your teeth and make them more sensitive. Use gentle, circular motions.
- Electric toothbrush: Electric toothbrushes can help you to brush more gently because it does a lot of the work for you.
When you have your teeth cleaned, it shouldn’t be painful. Talk to your dentist and use the steps listed above. This way, you can have a comfortable dental experience.
About the Author
Dr. Steven Hatch earned his dental doctorate from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry and is committed to taking numerous hours of continuing education each year to keep his knowledge and skills sharp. If it has been a while since your last dental cleaning, he’d be happy to help you get back on track. For more information or to schedule an appointment at his office in Forest, visit his website or call (434) 841-1704.