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Why do some hygienists clean so much more gently than others?

  • Thread starter Worriedaboutmyteeth
  • Start date


Junior member
Apr 8, 2020
And the thing is, the ones who do it gently are every bit as efficient and thorough as the ones who make it excruciating.

As a kid, I never had this problem. They could scale away for hours and it wouldn't bother me.

Now, any area of my mouth could be sensitive and make me wince. I think some of it is psychological, but something else is going on.


Super Moderator
Staff member
Sep 18, 2017
Hi Worriedaboutmyteeth,

this is a tough question.. I think the main problem is that if you do something on someone else, you generally do not know how gentle it feels for them or not.. and cleaning is something that is done with the hands and there are probably differences, like with everything - there are people who put more pressure on the pen when writing then others. There are people who put more pressure on their teeth when they brush, than others. There are people who step on the pedals of a car more gently then others when they drive.. and like you, who enjoy gentle cleaning, there may be still people who feel like without pressure it's not enough.. I am just guessing here and giving my opinion..

The most important thing here is this: it is always about the right fit so if you feel your hygienist is not very gentle, it is the best thing to find someone you feel more comfortable with.

May I ask you, what makes you think of those things now?


Super Moderator
Verified dentist
Dec 7, 2008
Welwyn Garden City, UK
Hi Worriedaboutmyteeth ,

There are a couple of reasons why you may be experiencing such uncomfortable treatment.

It could be them in that the hygienists you saw as a child were genuinely more. skilled, kind and gentle.

Or it could be you, in that be your teeth may have become more sensitive. Common reasons for this are gum recession, erosion of the roots by acidic foods or drinks, clenching or grinding your teeth.

So it might be worth discussing this with your dentist to see if they and spot a reason why your teeth have become more sensitive than they were. I doubt very much that this problem is psychological.
Check out the page on sensitive teeth https://www.dentalfearcentral.org/faq/sensitive-teeth/ it may help. If you try any to the desensitising toothpastes, remember to allow about a month for them to work.
hope things improve for you



Jun 17, 2020
Maybe everything was just more healthy when you were a kid and they didn’t have to scrape around in pockets.
Still I personally would almost prefer a filling from my gentle dentist to a cleaning from his not so gentle hygienist.