Professional Dental Cleaning


Professional dental cleaning is an important part of a routine dental visit. It’s strongly recommended that children have a professional cleaning every 6 months. Usually, a dental hygienist performs the cleaning.

The cleaning takes about 30 minutes to complete and your child will be reclined in a comfortable chair for the procedure. The dental hygienist will use special tools to complete the cleaning including a mirror, a tooth scraper, and a special toothbrush.

During the Cleaning the Dental Hygienist will:


  • Remove the calculus (hardened plaque found on the tooth’s enamel). One reason it’s important to schedule routine cleaning is that this type of plaque cannot be removed without special dental instruments. 
  • Get rid of the other plaque that is built up on the teeth which can cause bacteria to grow in the mouth.
  • Polish your child’s teeth to remove any stains or discoloration.
  • Instruct you and your child on proper oral hygiene for the child at his/her age.

What to Expect During the Procedure:


  • An initial visual inspection of the mouth to check for any visible problems that may need to be monitored or corrected.
  • X rays, when appropriate, to detect any tooth decay or other oral problems that are not visible.
  • The plaque and tartar using the tooth scraper described above.
  • Tooth polishing using a special toothbrush to remove any discoloration or stains.
  • Professional flossing in all those hard-to-reach areas.
  • A fluoride treatment to prevent cavities and tooth decay.
  • One final inspection by the dentist and a conversation about how to continue practicing appropriate dental hygiene at home.

During a routine tooth cleaning appointment, the dentist and hygienist check for signs of other potential problems like cavities or receding gums. It’s a good way to get an early start on correcting any potential problems. So, don’t forget to schedule your routine cleaning at least every six months.


Professional Dental Cleaning FAQ

Yes, it is very important to visit the dentist every 6 months so they can remove tartar, preventing additional health problems.

The dental hygienist cleans your teeth using specialized tools to remove plaque and Tartar. Then she polishes your teeth to remove stains.

Many patients will need a cleaning every 3 to 4 months rather than the standard 6 months. This depends on the patient’s overall oral health.

Do not drink or eat for at least 30 minutes after a cleaning and avoid mouthwash directly after having your teeth cleaned or after teeth brushing.

Without adequate home maintenance, the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease will return.

During a professional cleaning, it can feel like teeth are being damaged, but that’s not the case. The scraping sensation is the removal of calculus, a stubborn form of plaque, that can’t be removed with normal brushing.

First, you should brush your teeth to remove plaque and tartar build up. Next, you should use floss to reach tight spaces between teeth. Finally, use mouthwash for its fluoride protection.

Consult your dentist to help you decide how often you need a professional cleaning. You should not wait more than six months between professional cleanings, but you may need more frequent cleaning depending on your overall oral health.

The ADA recommends brushing your teeth twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride. Be sure to brush for at least two minutes each time.

There are many ways to strengthen gums. The best way is to floss every day, at least once. Other ways to strengthen gums include regular dental cleanings, brushing twice a day, using a therapeutic mouthwash and toothpaste with fluoride.