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 between 30 minutes to an hour. A dental hygienist will do the cleaning, and a dentist may come in for an exam at the end. Most people find that dental cleanings are painless, and do not cause any discomfort.
The dental hygienist will start off by performing an oral evaluation. This will allow the hygienist to see all of the activity that is going on in the oral cavity and will then make the proper treatment plan for the patient. Once this is completed, the dental hygienist will begin to scale the teeth, whereby the hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces. This can be performed by hand or electric scalers depending on the hygienists preference. The second step is polishing the teeth. A small motorized rubber cup with a paste moves in a circular motion across the teeth. The act of polishing the teeth is to make it difficult for plaque to accumulate on the tooth surface by smoothing the tooth.