Salt Lake City Dentist Answers 10 Teeth Cleaning Questions

When you search for an affordable “dentist near me”, remember the importance of finding a dental team that sees the way dental hygiene plays a role in your overall health. Our best-in-class offices in Salt Lake County are staffed with top dentists who are ready to help you make the most of your next visit. Your local Platinum Dental Care dentist wants more than just to poke around your mouth—we want to broaden your understanding and transform your teeth cleaning experience. This blog is designed to help you get the most out of your dental check up, making it the most effective and productive for you.

1. Do I brush effectively?

The next time you visit “a dentist near me” remember how important it is to accurately demonstrate to the dentist how you are actually brushing your teeth. Showing how you go through your daily teeth cleaning routine will help your dentist understand how your oral hygiene routine may be affecting your overall oral health. Being authentic and not faking a perfect routine will help your dentist teach you what to improve and why.

The American Dental Association (ADA) provides helpful online tutorials on brushing techniques. This oral health authority recommends brushing your teeth at a 45-degree angle to your gums. Make gentle, “tooth-wide” strokes back and forth across the surface of your teeth. When you clean your teeth, make sure you scrub each surface on your tooth including the front, interior, and chewing surfaces of your teeth. Your Salt Lake City dentist (as well as those at all of our convenient Platinum Dental Care locations) will expertly analyze your teeth cleaning routine, recommend changes to implement at home, and explain why and how to make those changes.

​2. Best way to Floss?

Flossing your teeth is just as important as brushing your teeth. Vital to removing plaque in hard-to-reach areas, flossing goes where your toothbrush cannot reach. If you have a hard time with dental floss, flossers are always acceptable.

At your next teeth cleaning appointment ask your dentist about proper flossing technique. He or she will show a proper sized piece of floss (about 18 inches in length) so that you have ample floss to remove excess plaque as you trace each tooth. Your dentist will also demonstrate holding the floss and guiding the string tautly between each tooth, forming a “C”-curve around each tooth.

When choosing your floss, remember the difference between these 2 types:

  • Nylon Floss - Whether waxed or unwaxed, flavored or plain, nylon floss is made of tiny strands of nylon wound together. Nylon floss shreds easily, especially
  • PTFE Floss - PTFE Floss, also called single filament floss, is shred-resistant and easy to slip through tight spaces between your teeth.

Flossing is one of the most important ways you can fight gum disease and tooth decay, so make sure you leave your appointment with full confidence that you can floss effectively without any hesitation. At Platinum Dental Care in Utah, we want our patients to feel successful and avoid the expense and hassle of easily avoidable oral health problems.

​3. Can “Bad Teeth” run in my family?

Just as family history affects other aspects of your health, genetics affect your oral health. Talk with your local dentist about your concerns—he or she will help you avoid any problems that even your parents or close siblings have encountered. You may even need more frequent cleanings depending on your particular family history.

Before any dental cleaning appointment, familiarize yourself genetic conditions in your own family (gum disease, heart conditions, etc.) in order to relay that information to your “dentist near me.” Your next dental checkup will often include a cancer screening, which may be easier to perform if your family history is known. Your dentist will best be able to customize your treatment plan by understanding your genetics, so maximize your benefits at your next teeth cleaning by “brushing up” on your family history.

​4. What signs of disease should I watch out for?

Your local dentist will search for early signs of disease or cancer at your 6-month dental checkup and teeth cleaning appointment. As recently publicized in a KSL report, a dentist detected a patient’s cancer before anyone else was able to because of his effective disease screening.


Dentists often perform what is known as a “pocket reading”. Pocket readings allow your dentist to examine the space in between your gum and tooth. Deeper pockets indicate possible inflammation and gum disease.

Suggested Reading: What you need to know about oral cancer

A common disease discovered by dentists is gingivitis. When your gums bleed profusely during flossing, you may be a victim of gingivitis. Your local dentist will recommend a treatment plan. Early detection and intervention is important in preventing tooth decay and further damage caused by tooth decay.

​5. Do I grind my teeth when I sleep?

Grinding your teeth can affect your jaw, the strength of your enamel, and ability to sleep. If you do now know if you grind your teeth or not, your Salt Lake City dentist will be able to detect if so. Our Salt Lake County dentist practices find that many people grind their teeth occasionally, but only an oral health professional can detect if the problem is affecting the patient’s overall health. Misaligned teeth, overbite, under bite, stress, and anxiety can be contributing factors to a grinding problem.

If you do grind your teeth, most likely you do so at night which makes it hard to self-diagnose. By examining the state of your teeth, your dentist can determine an appropriate treatment plan.

Chronic teeth grinding can seriously impact your oral health. You can loose, fracture, or break your teeth by grinding them, leading the need for bridges, crowns, a root canal, or implants in the future. Proper diagnosis should be handled by your dental professional if you may be suffering from teeth grinding.

6. ​Can I improve my oral health through diet?

Your diet absolutely affects your teeth, but strong hygiene habits and knowing what to avoid can protect you. Foods high in sugar can be some of the most destructive on your teeth. Frequent brushing and avoiding unnecessary added sugars will help your teeth stay strong. Fruit drinks, sodas, and even large glasses of milk before bed can cause major problems, so talk to your local dentist about your eating habits and what he or she may recommend in order to avoid decay. Foods high in nutrition will help your teeth remain strong and healthy, in addition to the rest of your body.

If you choose to discuss your eating habits with your dentist, they can recommend adding or eliminating certain foods from your diet to maximize the strength and beauty of your smile. Foods like cheese, raw vegetables and fruit are a dentist’s favorite snack because they are high in nutrition and can even act as a natural cleaning agent over the surface of your teeth.

​7. When should my children visit the dentist?

Your next dental cleaning will be the perfect opportunity to discuss a treatment plan for your children with your local dentist. Every child is different, but depending on your child’s age and number of teeth, your dentist can determine if a pediatric dentist may be the right path for your family. Pediatric dentists know how to best communicate and enhance a dental experience for children. For Platinum Dental Care patients, we have a pediatric dentist available within the Platinum Dental Care family—Dr. David Johnson, a pediatric dentist in Riverton Utah, will help your children love their dental cleanings.

​8. How can I whiten my teeth?

Perfecting the color of your teeth for purely aesthetic purposes is the purpose of teeth whitening. The increased confidence in patients after just one professional whitening treatment is almost palpable. Yellowing or discoloration is a natural process—genetics, diet, and other habits play a role. Get professional advice when choosing the whitening procedure you wish to pursue in order to ensure desired results and minimize the effect on your enamel.

Suggested Reading: Using Professional Whitening

​9. Why are X-Rays important?

Suggested Reading: Are Dental X-Rays Dangerous?

The most accurate tool for oral health assessment is a dental x-ray. Especially if you are seeing a Platinum Dental dentist for the first time, your dentist may request a dental x-ray in order to determine whether you have all of your teeth, where possible decay may exist, and the extent of previous work performed. Some oral diseases are hard to see, making an x-ray the best way to find issues. Not only are x-rays fast and effective, they are thorough and catch problems early on. Early detection means minimal damage and minimal expense.

If you have any concerns, be sure to express these to your local dentist. He or she can assist you through the X-ray process and determine which kind of X-rays are necessary and unnecessary in your case. Your local dentist will design your oral health treatment plan to properly address your needs and particular concerns.

​10. How often should I have my teeth cleaned?

Regardless of how well you care for your teeth, the American Dental Association recommends a bi-annual teeth cleaning for everyone. Depending on your history and case, your dentist may recommend more frequent appointments. Talk with your Salt Lake City dentist about customizing your dental cleaning schedule.

​Dentist Near Me

Quality and professionalism are the hallmarks of a Platinum Dental Care experience, and there are plenty of convenient Platinum Dental Care Locations in your neighborhood. Feel free to discuss the questions above with your local dentist and Give us a call at

801.806.4704 to book your appointment today!