Floss your teeth. Regularly.
I went to the dentist tonight for a cleaning and my hygienist said that my teeth and gums did much better during her scaling work due to flossing my teeth. I knew this without her telling me because I went through the cleaning without stabbing pains in my gums and gripping the armrests to keep from ripping the implements out of my mouth. During my last cleaning I was nearly in tears by the time my hygienist was done with me. It hurt that much. Today it felt, well not like tickling, but certainly not horribly painful.
So seriously. Floss your teeth. And use an electric toothbrush. Doing both of those things have really helped my cleanings go faster and with less pain.
Also, if you live in the east end of Toronto, and you need a dentist, go to http://www.dentalcaretoronto.com/. They’re nice people, and I’ve been going to them since 2002. (Disclosure: this is not advertorial, it’s just me saying something nice about people who provide me a valuable service for my health.)