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Myth Buster Series: Can a cleaning scrape off tooth enamel?

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Oral Health Month is nearly over. We’ve spent the month busting myths and celebrating oral health information about topics including pregnancy and dental health, what really erodes enamel, sugar versus honey, cyber security for dentists, social media, and more! 

Today we’re busting our final myth of the month. And this one is about enamel and dental cleanings.

True or false? A cleaning at the dental office can scrape enamel off teeth.

This is false. During a cleaning at the dentist’s office, it can feel like teeth are being damaged or over-scraped. The scraping sound and sensation of the cleaning tool can also be uncomfortable. After a cleaning, teeth can also feel more sensitive to hot and cold as well as liquids and food. But these sensations are not an indication that tooth enamel has been damaged or scraped off.

Dental cleanings remove plaque and calculus that won’t come off with daily brushing. When the tongue touches a newly cleaned teeth, it feels different because the buildup of plaque and calculus (and not enamel) has been removed from the tooth surface. Sensitivity after a cleaning is the result of areas previously covered by plaque and calculus being exposed. While the sound and sensation of scraping can be unnerving, this is normal. 

What are your patients asking about enamel and cleanings? We want to hear from you!

Leave a comment about this post in the box below, send your feedback by email or call us at 1-855-716-2747.

Happy Oral Health Month!

CDA Oasis Team

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2 Comments

  1. This is false information. Scaling and root planing and polishing procedures can cause enamel and dentin abrasion.

    Reply
  2. Christopher Cottle May 1, 2019

    You said without damaging enamel …99% true. You also said without damaging the tooth … totally wrong. Unless I have been mis-informed over my 35 years …The cementum/dentin can be over-instrumented with root planing, leaving an “hour-glass” like look to the tooth below the enamel. It is seen all the time. I have attached a jpg from the internet showing excellent healing after periodontal treatment; however, it also shows the two centrals with an abnormal shape below the enamel. Those are not typical “normal occuring” abfractions on the mesial of the teeth. I am very surprised that those comments were made, not caught by CDA Oasis staff and were allowed to be printed. I am even more surprised that I am actually writing this.

    Reply

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