Routine dental cleanings are important to maintaining good oral hygiene. Professional cleaning by a hygienist can remove mineralized plaque that may develop even with careful brushing and flossing, particularly in areas that are difficult to reach. It is recommended you go in for a cleaning once every six months.
How it's done
You can expect your dental cleaning to last about an hour. A professionally licensed and trained hygienist will do the cleaning, and your dentist will come in for an exam at the end. Most people find that dental cleanings are an easy procedure, especially when daily flossing and brushing are done at home.
There are two important steps to a dental cleaning. The first step is scaling the teeth, whereby the hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces. This can be performed by hand or with electric scalers depending on the hygienists preference.Typically, the hygienist will also clean the pockets of the gums to remove any buildup there. Below the gumline is most important to keep free of mineralized plaque (calculus or tartar).
The second step is polishing to remove any final plaque or stain and leaves the teeth feeling slick and smooth. Flossing is last unless a fluoride treatment is needed.
If it has been years since you have had a cleaning, a more detailed cleaning may be needed, this too, is handled with ease and can performed in 1 long visit or broken up into several shorter visits depending on what works best for your schedule.