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 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. During the first step, the hygienist will remove plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces. This may be performed with hand or ultrasonic instruments, depending on which method the hygienists determines to be appropriate for your needs. Typically, the hygienist's instruments will also reach into the pockets under the gums to remove any plaque buildup found there.
The second step is to polish the teeth in order to remove any final areas of plaque and stain. This step is accomplished with a variety of polishing heads used to clean hard to reach places along with a professional polishing agent. Finally, the hygienist will floss all of your teeth.