Teeth Cleaning: Types and Importance of Professional Dental Cleanings

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Clean teeth and a bright smile will give you confidence that’s second to none.

Teeth Cleaning

A picture-perfect smile can only be maintained by following a perfect oral hygiene routine and getting your teeth cleaned professionally by a dentist twice a year.

In this article, we will talk about the benefits of regular dental care, including preventing cavities, gum disease, and bad breath, and learn how it contributes to your overall well-being. 

What is professional teeth cleaning?

Routine dental cleanings are recommended every six months and will be done by your dentist or dental hygienist at the dental office.

Teeth cleanings fall under preventive dental care and play a vital role in helping you save money and time on costly dental treatments.

Cleaning teeth at home is not enough to prevent future dental problems; that’s why you must book a dental appointment for regular cleaning, irrespective of cleaning cost and your busy work schedule. 

What are the different types of professional cleaning?

There are different types of dental cleaning: 

1) Prophylaxis Regular Teeth Cleaning: Involves removal of plaque and tartar from the crown surfaces of the tooth for healthy teeth and gums 

2) Deep Cleaning: Scaling and root planing is also known as deep cleaning, where your hygienist removes the tartar below the gum line under local anesthesia. You may require more than one visit for a complete cleaning. 

3) Debridement: Heavy-duty plaque and tartar in your mouth warrant full mouth debridement. It allows one to maintain long-term dental health and also helps reduce the risk of emergencies.


Your dentist only recommends it if you have tough, hardened tartar and calculus with swollen gums.

Fine scaling of teeth crowns and roots is done with the help of an ultrasonic scaler tip, followed by advanced periodontal treatments 4 to 6 weeks after this appointment.

How often should professional teeth cleaning be done?

Plaque and tartar can cause discoloration and staining of the tooth as its first downside; however, it may cause full-blown oral problems like gum diseases, dental cavities, and inflammation of the wisdom tooth. 

The American Dental Association recommends professional cleaning twice yearly, even if you’re a strict oral hygiene maintainer.

Brushing and flossing regularly is not enough, and the plaque may still build up between the teeth and below the gumline.

Some individuals suffering from medical problems may need cleanings more than twice a year because they have different oral health goals due to the difference in bacterial load in the mouth.

Benefits of Professional Teeth Cleaning

Professional dental cleanings hold a few key benefits, which are:

1) Brighter, Whiter Smile: Do you want to eliminate stains caused by tea, coffee, or smoking? Dental hygienists use special instruments to remove stains and tartar that are hard or impossible to remove with regular brushing and flossing. 

2) Prevention of Gum Diseases: Gum diseases are one of the major causes of early tooth loss. Regular cleanings can help reduce the risk of gum disease and allow your dentist to detect a disease early before it causes pain, discomfort, social distancing, and tooth loss. 

3) Early Detection of Oral Cancer: Routine dental cleanings are done after a thorough oral examination. Your dentist will check for signs of oral cancer, which is critical to routine dental checkups

4) Reduces the Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases: Gum diseases can cause cardiovascular diseases. Oral bacteria from gum diseases can enter the blood and cause diseases like infective endocarditis. Regular cleaning helps you reduce the risk of having such diseases. 

5) Early Detection of Oral Problems: Problems like dental cavities, broken fillings, and tooth fractures may go unnoticed at regular home dental care.


Professional cleaning and checkups will allow you to detect a problem early for a cost-effective and non-invasive treatment. 

6) Cost Savings: Many dental insurance companies will cover the costs of dental cleanings by helping you focus more on preventive dental care. Preventive care costs less than emergency dental procedures, which may burden your pockets financially.

What happens during a professional dental cleaning? 

Professional dental cleaning at a dentist or a dental hygienist is a 6 step process that some people dread. Still, it helps you prevent oral diseases that can cause you to spend more time and money on the dental chair. 

Step 1: An Oral Examination

Dental hygienists mainly perform professional cleanings. A physical examination will be conducted before your hygienist starts cleaning your mouth. A dental mirror and a probe will be used to check the health of your teeth and gums. Any caries or signs of gingivitis will be documented before the cleaning process starts. 

Step 2: Removing Plaque and Tartar

An ultrasonic dental scaler tip will remove all the plaque and tartar that adheres to your teeth. The more plaque there is, the more time you spend on the dental chair. Regular brushing and flossing will prevent plaque buildup into tartar and calculus.

Step 3: Toothpaste Cleaning 

After tartar is wholly removed from your teeth, your dental hygienist will use toothpaste with a high-powered electric toothbrush to remove all the leftover tartar behind. 

These toothpastes are just like regular toothpaste but with a gritty consistency. These appear as a mild scrub for your teeth. This step is also called teeth polishing. 

Step 4: Expert Flossing

Whether you floss once daily or not, an expert flossing session will make a difference. This step might appear pointless to you if you regularly floss; however, this one step can troubleshoot most of the problems in your mouth. Your hygienist will go deep between the teeth to catch any hidden issue that may harm you in the future. 

Step 5: Rinsing 

Next, you’ll rinse your mouth with tap water to remove all the debris and saliva. 

Step 6: Flouride Treatment 

This is an additional step and may not be needed by you. Fluorides strengthen tooth enamel by making solid bonds between different minerals in your teeth.

Dental Fluoride Treatment

Your dental hygienist will ask for your favorite flavor and place the foamy fluoride gel and varnish on your teeth. It’s left on your teeth for a minute or two after it’s equally distributed on your teeth with the help of a small brush. It will soon harden when it comes in contact with your saliva.

How much does a dental cleaning cost in the US?

Dental cleaning may burden Americans, especially when they don’t have dental insurance to cover the cost. The average dental cleaning cost in the US is $104, which may vary depending on your dentist’s location and expertise. According to the American Dental Association, some practices may charge up to $200 for dental cleanings.

Where can you get free or low-cost dental cleaning without dental insurance? 

Discounts and promotions offered by certain dental offices are one of the ways through which you can get professional cleaning done at a low price.

 But there are other ways as well. Low-cost dental services are offered at dental schools where recent graduates work under faculty supervision to gain some hands-on work experience. Some community health centers, charitable organizations, and rural health clinics also offer low-cost dental cleaning services to people.

Choosing the Right Dental Professional for Teeth Cleaning

Qualifications and credentials to look for

Ensure that the dentist you’re visiting holds a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree and has a valid license to practice in your state.

Ensure he has certain memberships with professional organizations like the American Dental Association to prove his commitment to learning and education.

Importance of a comfortable and welcoming dental environment

The dental office must have an ambiance and be equipped with modern tools and technology. The staff must be courteous and professional when dealing with problems.

The dentist should be attentive to your concerns and make you feel comfortable within the office.

Patient reviews and recommendations

Ask family or friends for recommendations; personal experiences are worth to be trusted. You may look for reviews on Google, Yelp, and Healthgrades to choose the one nearest to you.

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