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Dental Cleaning & Hygiene

Dental cleaning and hygiene tooth being polished

Table of Contents

Dental Cleaning & Hygiene:
A Detailed Guide

Getting your teeth cleaned and polished professionally gives you a brilliant, white smile, and prevents potential tooth decay and gum disease.

From this new guide, you’ll learn the details of professional dental cleanings including:

• What dental cleanings are
• Why professional dental cleanings are essential
• The benefits of having your teeth professionally cleaned and polished
• How the dental cleaning procedure typically goes
• Lots more

If you want to learn more, this guide is for you!
Continue reading to discover more.

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Part 1

What Is a Dental Cleaning?

1 - what is the service


It is a good thing that many people are beginning to understand the importance of oral health. In the past, many were ignorant of the fact that oral health is critical to overall health and wellbeing. As people learn more about oral health, they will appreciate the importance of dental care a lot more.

In addition to contributing significantly to overall health, dental care can improve your smile, which in turn will enhance your facial appeal and confidence. One of the procedures that bring these benefits is dental cleaning.

It is sad that people dread dental cleaning. This is primarily due to a lack of understanding of what it entails. Some have seen videos and heard unconfirmed reports about jaw discomfort and other issues. Many have decided never to give it a try, though they understand the benefits.

But is dental cleaning such a big deal? Is it a painful or a painless procedure? Are the benefits really massive? We will answer these and other important questions in this dental cleaning guide. Good knowledge of what it is all about will help you make an informed decision.

What Does it Mean to Get a Dental Cleaning?

Dental cleaning, which is commonly referred to as teeth cleaning, is a procedure for the removal of tartar that may develop on the teeth and gum area. Tartar refers to mineralized plaque, and they may develop even when an individual observes regular brushing and flossing of teeth, especially in areas of the teeth that are hard to reach.

Professional dental cleaning is normally done by a dental hygienist in a dental office. It involves the use of different devices and instruments to loosen and remove deposits from the teeth. It normally includes tooth scaling and tooth polishing. Depending on the level of tartar on the teeth, dental cleaning can also include debridement.

Dental or teeth cleaning will ensure that teeth are free from mineral buildup. Obviously, it is not only reserved for individuals with oral hygiene issues or dental problems. Rather, it is for everyone who wants to maintain optimum oral hygiene.

What's Plaque and Tartar and Why Do You Need to Remove Them?

To fully understand the importance of teeth cleaning, you need to learn about plaques and tartars, as well as their roles in some of the oral health problems you want to avoid. As hinted earlier, the removal of tartar is the primary purpose of teeth cleaning.

Dental plaque is a sticky deposit on teeth in which bacteria thrive. It can simply be described as colorless bacterial films. They are the biggest contributor to tooth decay and gum diseases (periodontitis).

Tartar results from dental plaque that’s not taken care of in time. Plaque can harden into tartars if  left on the teeth within 48 hours. Understandably, it’s even more problematic than plaque. They are hard and easily get under the gum line, where they cause periodontitis, and is harder to remove. Actually, tartar can only be efficiently removed by a dental hygienist during a professional dental cleaning.

By brushing and flossing regularly, you will be able to keep plaque at bay. However, it is impossible to completely prevent the buildup of tartar, especially within the areas that are hard to reach. Going for professional teeth cleaning, therefore, is critical for optimal oral health.

Part 2

Who Is An Ideal Candidate For Dental Cleaning?

2 - getting help for you situation

The ideal candidate for dental cleaning is anyone who has mineral buildup on his/her teeth. From what we have discussed so far, you can tell that everyone will need regular teeth cleaning. You don’t have to wait until you have noticeable tartars on your teeth. Some are hidden under gum lines where they still cause havoc.

Irrespective of the condition of our oral health, we all need teeth cleaning from time to time. The right candidate for dental cleaning, therefore, is anyone who wants to maintain optimal oral health.

Are Dental Cleanings Really Important?

Some people erroneously believe that if they take good care of their teeth, they will never have a need to go for professional teeth cleaning. Some also believe that the procedure is not really important for oral health, which is wrong. Dental cleaning is very important, especially for prevention of teeth and gum diseases.

Part 3

What Are The Real Benefits Of Professional Dental Cleaning?

6 - types of crowns

The primary purpose of dental cleaning is to remove plaques and tartars, which are mostly responsible for tooth decay and gum diseases. The procedure will take care of the problems regular brushing and flossing cannot handle completely. Here are some specific benefits of professional dental cleaning:

  • It will significantly lower the chances of periodontitis
  • It will help improve overall oral health
  • It helps to ensure that the immune system is not preoccupied with fighting bacteria in the mouth to the detriment of other parts of the body
  • Ultimately, it will help to prevent several health issues associated with poor oral health in people of all ages.
Part 4

How Often Should You Get Your Teeth Professionally Cleaned?

3 - about the procedure

It is generally recommended that everyone sees their dentists at least once a year. It is also recommended that professional teeth cleaning be done at least once every year. But we know that some may need it more often. Since oral health is influenced by different habits and is deeply connected with other conditions, the frequency will depend on individuals’ lifestyles and oral health conditions.

A smoker, for instance, may need regular teeth cleaning more than a non-smoker. Other people who may need professional teeth cleaning more often include diabetic patients, HIV/AIDS or cancer patients, cancer patients, pregnant women, individuals experiencing orthodontic issues, those under significant stress, those who are taking medications that cause dry mouths, and those who have a history of gum disease. Twice a year may be the best routine for such individuals.

It is important to state at this point that research on the issue of the frequency of cleaning is inconclusive. It is not known whether more frequent cleaning leads to a better outcome or not. It is best, therefore, to follow the recommendations of your dentist.

Who Conducts Dental Cleaning?

Ideally, dental cleaning is conducted by a dental hygienist. It is also expected to be performed in a dental office and nowhere else. Dental cleaning is one of the procedures your dentist will recommend for you. Most dental clinics also have dental hygienists among their technicians.

It is important that you obtain teeth cleaning in a dental clinic. There are beauticians and other unqualified individuals who may offer to conduct the procedure at a cheaper cost, but this can be risky. The right thing to do is contact your dentist and arrange to have your teeth professionally cleaned by a dental hygienist under the right condition.   

Part 5

What Is The Dental Cleaning Procedure Like?

8 - risks of getting a crown

The perfect dental cleaning procedure starts with a physical examination and ends with the dentist or dental hygienist giving you instructions on how to take better care of your teeth. Here is a rundown of what to expect:

Preliminary Chat

This is more like an interaction with your dentist or a dental hygienist. You will need to answer some important questions that will help the professional determine the best way to proceed. Don’t hesitate to let the dental professional know if there has been a change to your dental history. You should also open up on any medication you are currently taken.

Physical Examination

Following the preliminary chat, the dentist or dental hygienist will proceed with a physical examination of your mouth. They may look small mirror-like instrument to check for signs of gingivitis and other potential concerns. A dental hygienist may have to call in a dentist during a physical examination if there is a potential concern. Periodontal charting is considered part of physical examination, also. Here, the dental hygienist measures the depth of your gum pocket with a special tool. Ideally, the depth should be 1 – 3 mm; anything deeper will indicate that you have periodontitis or gingivitis.


This is the first step in the actual cleaning process after your gum pockets have been confirmed. Ideally, it involves the dental hygienist using an ultrasonic scaler and a hand instrument to remove plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth and along your gum line. It is completely normal to hear scraping sound at this stage. The bigger the tartar, the longer it will take, normally.


This is also called gritty toothpaste cleaning and is done after your teeth are completely free of tartar and plaque. It simply involves the use of a gritty toothpaste to polish your teeth, after they have been brushed with a high-powered electric brush. You can pick the flavor of gritty toothpaste you want, but they mostly taste like regular toothpaste. An air polisher might be used to smoothen out your teeth even more.

Expert Flossing

Expert flossing session is an essential part of dental cleaning. It will go deep and ensure that all contact areas are cleaned. It will remove every debris, including toothpaste from the earlier cleaning process.

Fluoride Treatment

In addition to the rinse that contains liquid fluoride, a complete fluoride treatment will be done as the last step of the teeth cleaning procedure. A foamy or sticky paste will be placed into a mouthpiece that fits over your teeth. It will be allowed to sit for about a minute. Fluoride varnish can also be used at this stage. The goal is to remineralize your teeth and help fight cavity for months.

Post-Op Care/Risks

As mentioned earlier, dental cleaning is a simple and painless procedure. It is also very safe, especially when performed by a trained dental hygienist. Complications almost never occur. There are a few risk factors, however. Incorrectly performed brushing or flossing can result in injury to the gums. Overly vigorous brushing mar also cause sore gums, bleeding gums, and damage to the teeth enamel. In some instances, it may even facilitate the onset of gingivitis. As mentioned earlier, complications are very rare.

There is nothing fanciful about dental cleaning post-operation care. Complications hardly arise, but when they do, the dentist will recommend a solution. You may also need to visit your dentist’s office more often if there was a slight issue with the procedure. In the absence of any troubles, you will need to take care of your teeth like you normally do after dental cleaning. Your dentist or dental hygienist may offer some instructions on the best technique to take care of your teeth; follow them diligently.

Part 6

How Is Deep Cleaning Different From Standard Dental Cleaning?

5 - cost of a crown

We mentioned earlier that some patients might require deep dental cleaning instead of the regular teeth cleaning for anyone who wants to maintain good oral hygiene, but we didn’t elaborate on the differences between the two.

The major difference between the two is that while regular dental cleaning is part of preventive dentistry, deep cleaning is recommended for patients of gingivitis or a more serious case of gum disease. While everyone is expected to go for regular teeth cleaning after every six months, deep cleaning is only necessary for individuals with confirmed cases of gum diseases. Some people will never need deep cleaning in their lives. Most people will require it only a few times in their lifetime.

Another major difference between the two is that while regular teeth cleaning can be completed in a matter of minutes or an hour at most, deep cleaning cannot be completed in one appointment. Proper deep cleaning will take two appointments, at least. Depending on the extent of the gum disease, some patients will require more deep cleaning sessions, or even surgical procedures to restore oral health.  

Does Dental Cleaning Substitute For Regular Brushing And Flossing Of Teeth?

While dental cleaning is very important for oral health and overall wellbeing, it does not substitute for regular brushing of teeth and flossing. It is expected to be done once or twice in a year, so there is no way you should stay without brushing your teeth or flossing for that long.

As every good dentist will recommend, it is important that you brush your teeth with the right toothbrush for you twice daily, at least. You can also brush three times per day, preferable after means. Brush gently and try to reach all areas of your mouth. It is also recommended that you floss your teeth once a day, at least. Depending on your oral health condition, your dentist or a dental hygienist can recommend the best technique for brushing and flossing.

Part 7


7 - faq

Q: How are dental cleanings related to general health?

Dental cleanings are beneficial to general health in many ways. You may already already know that oral health is critical to general health and overall wellbeing. Dental cleaning is one of the cornerstones of oral health. It helps to fight teeth decay, gum diseases, and other oral health issues that can compromise general health. It has direct benefits on the immune system, also.

Q: Are dental cleanings really safe?

The simple answer is yes, dental cleanings are a very safe procedure.

Q: Where should I go for my dental cleaning?

Feel free to visit our office, if you’re from Calgary, Alberta. It’s located in SW Calgary around Westhills.

Here’s a link to open up Google Maps directions to our office: Click Here

Our address is #204, 3715 51st St SW, Calgary Alberta


Q: How long does a dental cleaning procedure take?

Dental cleaning is a pretty simple procedure that can be finished within an hour. You can expect a regular dental cleaning to last between 30 minutes and one hour, on the average. However, deep cleaning normally requires two cleaning sessions, at least.

Q: Are dental cleanings a risky procedure?

Yes, dental examinations consider all aspects of oral health. Your entire mouth will be properly screened for any dental issue, gum disease, or any other type of oral issue. Regular dental checks will even help you to detect other types of health issues relating to oral health in time.

Q: How painful is the dental cleaning procedure?

Dental cleaning are nearly pain-free procedures. You may experience mild discomfort during the scaling process, but that is generally it.

Q: Does insurance cover dental cleaning?

Depending on insurance provider and plan, you may have converage for dental cleaning. Some policies allow users to have two dental cleaning appointments in a year for free. Please feel free to chat with Marj, our office admin, to check-in on your coverage; our number is (587) 483-9900

Part 8

Booking Your Appointment

4 - scheduling your booking

Request An Appointment

Discover how our team at Glenbrook Dental can guide you along your dental health path. When you request an appointment, our receptionist will return your message within 1 business day. Her name is Marj.

Part 9

Further Readings

9 - related info2

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