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. After your initial cleaning the frequency of your cleaning appointments will be determined based on the indivdual patients needs to keep their gums healthy. The cleaning frequencies can vary from every 3 months for a patient with gum problems to once a year if the gums are healthy.
How it's done
You can expect your dental cleaning to last between 30 minutes and an hour. Typically, a trained 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.
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 ultrasonic scalers depending on the hygienists preference.Typically, the hygienist will scale around the teeth and gums to remove any plaque buildup.
The second step is polishing to remove any final plaque and create a nice smooth finish to your teeth. After the teeth have been polished fluoride is applied to the teeth to prevent tooth decay.