A friendly, caring, and gentle hygienist can make a huge difference in your trip to the dentist and can even make your entire experience more wonderful. Here at our Saratoga Springs dental clinic, we love our hygienists and our patients do, too! When you come to your appointment, no matter which hygienist serves you, we are sure she will do a fabulous job on your teeth.

However, our hygienists have noticed that for some patients, getting a teeth cleaning can be more nerve wracking than it should be, and there are a couple of misconceptions about dental hygiene that we’d like to dispel. If you’ve ever thought one of these things, we hope that reading this post will put a smile on your face and make you that much more comfortable the next time you get your teeth cleaned.


Misconception 1: I’m not allowed to swallow

Many people are unsure if, and when, they can swallow during the time the hygienist is working in their mouth. This is uncomfortable for the patient, and it’s not exactly like you can just ask the question, “Can I swallow?” when your mouth is wide open.

Truth:

YES, it’s ok to swallow! Most of the time, what is in your mouth is a mixture of water and saliva and is safe to swallow. You usually don’t have to wait for the hygienist to tell you to swallow, and you usually won’t get in their way when you swallow.

Misconception 2: That sharp probe will hurt

Dental instruments are scary, and the sharp-looking probe the hygienist uses has caused more than one person to flinch. Especially if you experience fear at the dentist anyway, the very sight of this probe can increase your anxiety.

Truth:

The probe will only touch your teeth, and it shouldn’t hurt your tooth any more than putting a fork into your mouth and having it bump one of your teeth would hurt. The hygienist is also trained to be very careful not to stab any of your soft tissues with this–No, you won’t be going home from your dentist appointment with a new tongue piercing!

Misconception 3: Cleaning around my crowns might pull them out

If you have dental crowns on your teeth, congratulations, those teeth feel like royalty! All kidding aside, it may be on your mind when the hygienist works around those teeth, and you definitely don’t want anything to happen inadvertently.

Truth:

Your teeth cleaning won’t pull your crowns off. The pressure those crowns are subject to in normal chewing are generally greater than any pressure the hygienist might exert against the plaque on your teeth, even if she’s working around the area of the crown. Hygienists are very aware of all the techniques needed to ensure that the patient’s mouth ends up better, not worse, after the cleaning. In addition, cleaning around the site where the crown is attached to your teeth is very important to ensure that your tooth’s root doesn’t undergo further decay.


The next time you’re sitting in a chair with your mouth propped open, you can ask Linda about her kayaking and Haley about her dog… but you can also ask if your hygienist has any other tips or suggestions for how you can have a great visit.

Schedule your next teeth cleaning with Saratoga Springs Dentistry today.

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