Decoding the Importance of Dental Cleanings for Safer Smiles

Dr. Charles Fine during dental cleaning

Who doesn’t love a stunning, bright, and confident smile? It all starts with a healthy set of teeth, which isn’t possible without professional dental cleanings. While brushing and flossing are essential, periodic professional teeth cleaning is a crucial part of overall dental health.

It involves removing plaque, tartar, and deep stains from the teeth and gums. Unlike regular brushing, professional cleaning can reach all the nooks and crannies in your mouth to prevent cavities and gum disease.

This article answers the question, “Is teeth cleaning necessary?” 

What Is a Professional Dental Cleaning?

A professional dental cleaning, also commonly known as prophylaxis, is a preventative treatment that is performed by a trained dental professional, usually a dental hygienist. This procedure is an essential part of maintaining your oral health, helping to prevent cavities, gum disease, and more serious dental problems.

In a dental cleaning, the hygienist will remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar buildup from your teeth and gums. These substances can lead to a variety of dental issues, such as gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath if not removed. Your dental hygienist may also conduct a deep cleaning if they notice a buildup of tartar or significant gum disease.

Why Are Dental Cleanings Important?

Prevent Cavities


Reduce the Risk for Tooth Loss

Combating tooth loss is one primary answer to the question, “Why are dental cleanings important?” When you regularly get your teeth cleaned, it helps in the detection and treatment of gum disease at an early stage. Untreated gum disease can lead to tooth loss as it degrades the support structure of your teeth; hence, regular cleaning can prevent this eventuality.

Preventing Gum Disease

Regular dental cleanings involve the removal of plaque and tartar, which, if allowed to accumulate, can lead to gum disease. This disease, also known as periodontitis, leads to inflammation and infection in the gum tissues and, over time, can cause a recession of the gums and tooth loss. Therefore, by getting your teeth professionally cleaned on a regular basis, you are taking a significant preventive measure against gum disease.

Oral Cancer Screening

Another dental cleaning importance is the detection of early signs or oral cancer, a life-threatening illness. During your teeth cleaning in the dental office, your dentist also performs an oral cancer screening. They will look for any signs of abnormalities that could suggest the presence of pre-cancerous or cancerous lesions.

Early detection often leads to successful treatment. This is because oral cancer can spread quickly if not caught early.

Saving Money

One of the benefits of dental cleaning is saving money. Though these routine check-ups and cleanings carry a cost, they are generally much less expensive than major dental procedures like fillings, crowns, or root canal treatment that might be needed if oral health issues go undetected. Through regular cleanings, potential problems can be identified and treated earlier, often resulting in simpler, more affordable treatments.

Preventing Bad Breath

Preventing bad breath, also called halitosis, is yet another critical reason for regular professional dental cleanings. Poor oral hygiene leads to the accumulation of food particles and bacteria in the mouth, both of which contribute to persistent bad breath. Regular brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings not only maintain your oral health but also keep your breath fresh and pleasant.

Brightening Your Smile

Regular professional dental cleanings can significantly enhance the appearance of your smile. During a cleaning, the dental hygienist removes built-up stains and plaque from your teeth, which can otherwise dull your smile. Consequently, the result of professional cleaning is a whiter, brighter smile that boosts your self-confidence and leaves a positive impression.

Promoting Overall Health

Promoting overall health is one of the importance of dental cleanings. There is growing evidence suggesting a correlation between oral health and overall health.

Regular professional dental cleanings can help lower your risk for systemic diseases, including heart disease and stroke, as the inflammation from persistent gum disease has been linked to these conditions. Maintaining good oral health through regular cleanings is therefore not only important for your dental health but also for promoting the overall well-being of your body.

What Happens During a Professional Dental Cleaning?

Step 1: Pre-Cleaning Dental Exam

During the pre-cleaning examination, the dental hygienist conducts a thorough assessment of your oral health. They utilize an intraoral camera to inspect your mouth for signs of oral diseases or other issues. This process helps identify any problems early and forms the basis for the cleaning procedure.

Step 2: Removing Plaque and Tartar

Next, the hygienist employs an ultrasonic scaler or manual scaling tools to eliminate tartar and plaque buildup on your teeth. Tartar, also known as dental calculus, is plaque that has hardened over time and cannot be removed by regular brushing or flossing. If left untreated, this tartar can contribute to gum disease, tooth decay, or even tooth loss.

Step 3: Teeth Polishing

Once all plaque and tartar have been removed, the hygienist uses a prophylaxis paste to polish your teeth. This paste aids in removing any remaining surface stains from your teeth, leaving them noticeably cleaner and smoother. The polishing also serves to make your teeth more resistant to plaque buildup in the future.

Step 4: Expert Flossing

Then, your dental professional will undertake an extensive flossing of your teeth. Flossing is essential as it helps remove any food particles lodged between your teeth that may remain even after brushing and polishing. It can also remove any leftover prophylaxis paste that can stick in these tight areas between your teeth.

Step 5: Fluoride Treatment

The last step in the cleaning process often involves a fluoride treatment. The dental hygienist will apply a gelled or foamed fluoride solution onto your teeth, and it remains there for approximately 1-4 minutes. Fluoride serves an important role in strengthening your tooth enamel, making your teeth more resistant to decay and acid attacks.

Step 6: Post-Cleaning Checkup

After all the steps of the cleaning process have been completed, the hygienist will conduct a final check to ensure that all dental plaque and tartar have been effectively removed. They also provide you with valuable feedback on your oral health and any areas of concern that they may have noticed. This is also an excellent opportunity to ask any questions you may have about proper oral hygiene techniques.

Step 7: Scheduling the Next Visit

To maintain the optimal health of your teeth and gums, it is recommended to visit your dentist for professional cleaning every six months. Before leaving the office, the dental staff will assist you in scheduling your next visit to ensure you stay on track with this routine dental care. Regular visits to the dentist are crucial in maintaining good oral health and preventing potential problems.

How Much Does Professional Dental Cleaning Cost?

The cost of a professional dental cleaning can vary depending on a variety of factors. These can include the location of the dental practice, the exact procedures performed during the cleaning, how long the cleaning session lasts, and whether or not additional treatments such as X-rays are included.

It’s important to note that while the upfront cost of regular cleanings may seem daunting to some, these costs are generally much less than what would be incurred should a preventable dental issue escalate into a more serious and expensive condition. In order to obtain an exact estimate of the cost of professional dental cleaning, it is highly advisable to visit your dentist or dental clinic. They can provide a detailed breakdown of the expenses and discuss options for insurance coverage or payment plans if necessary.

Give Your Teeth the Attention They Deserve: Schedule Your Appointment Now

Regular teeth cleanings are essential to maintaining good oral hygiene and overall health. They can help prevent tooth loss, freshen your breath, brighten your smile, boost your overall health, and save money. It’s important to have a routine cleaning every six months to detect dental issues early and receive preventive treatments.

Don’t wait for discomfort to knock at your teeth’s door. Professional teeth cleanings are the secret to a brighter smile and a healthier you. If you are asking yourself, “Where are teeth cleaning near me?” you can visit McDonogh Dental. We are committed to offering our clients the best dental services, with a special focus on professional teeth cleaning.

Remember, a bright smile is just the beginning of a healthier, happier life. Start your journey with us and keep laughing heartily for many years to come. Don’t delay your dental health. Schedule an appointment with us today.