What is Dental Cleaning: Procedure, Types & Benefits

Dental Cleaning

Allwyn Dental

August 2, 2023

Dental cleaning: is it just a routine oral hygiene procedure? It may seem so to the general populace, but we are here to burst your bubble. Teeth cleaning plays a pivotal role in maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile. These dental check-up visits enable a dental hygienist to clean the hardened plaque, tartar and bacteria on your teeth before it leads to severe oral health issues. Let us have a look at what dental cleanings entail.

What is Dental Cleaning?

Teeth or dental cleaning is a crucial part of oral care and includes the removal of dental plaque from the teeth. The most basic intention behind dental cleaning is the prevention of cavities, gingivitis and periodontal disease.

You may ask, is brushing and flossing not enough?

Brushing and flossing are vital to maintaining optimum oral health, but a dental checkup will ensure the removal of hardened tartar that may have been left behind. People with both dentures and natural teeth may aid their dental cleaning with a denture cleaner.

If you suffer from dental anxiety, it is best to consult your dentist beforehand. You can even consider visiting a dental clinic like ours. At Allwyn Dental, our team is experienced in handling dental anxieties and may even offer local sedation to help you have a comfortable visit.

Dental Cleaning Procedures

The dental cleaning procedure is simple and takes a single setting. Here is a brief of how the procedure goes:

  • Dental Examination

Dental Examination

The first step for routine dental cleaning is to set up a dentist check-up appointment. Before the commencement of the actual process, the dentist will do a thorough dental examination of your entire mouth to determine the state of your oral health. If they find any traces of minor gum disease or any other dental issue, they will present you with possible solutions.

  • Plaque and Tartar Removal

After the dental check up, once the dentist gives a green signal, the next step is to eliminate the plaque and tartar from the gum line and from between the teeth. The dentists use a mirror to guide their movements while scrapping. The duration of scraping depends on the amount of tartar in your mouth.

  • Cleaning with Toothpaste 

After removing the tartar, the dentist will use a high-powered electric toothbrush to deep clean and remove any leftover tartar. The brush makes a grinding noise that may sound scary, but it is a great way to get deep teeth cleaning. Professionals use toothpaste that looks and tastes the same as general toothpaste but has a rough texture. It is more like a tooth scrubber.

  • Expert Flossing 

Irrespective of your flossing habits at home, nothing can beat professional flossing at a dental clinic. The dentist will dig deep between your teeth to locate the trouble spots where your gums risk bleeding. Professional flossing also removes any leftover tartar, plaque, or toothpaste from the earlier process.

  • Rinse

Naturally, rinsing is the next step. It will help remove any residue left in your mouth. The dentist will usually give you a liquid fluoride mouthwash for proper teeth cleaning.

  • Fluoride Treatment Application

This is the final step in the cleaning process. The fluoride treatment safeguards the teeth from cavities for several months. A sticky foam gel on a mouthpiece fits your teeth for a minute. The dentist may even apply a fluoride varnish on your teeth for maximum protection. You do have the choice of the flavor of the foam gel!

Types of Dental Cleanings

There are various types of dental cleaning procedures available for enhancing oral health. After your dental check up, the dentist will determine and brief you about the best procedure for your needs. Here is a list of different dental cleaning procedures available:

  • Prophylaxis Cleaning 

A prophylactic dental cleaning is a routine dental cleaning procedure for people with a healthy mouth. It is a routine maintenance procedure involving the abolition of plaque and tartar from the surface of teeth, middle teeth and gums. Apart from cleaning the tartar, a prophylactic procedure also cleans minor marks staining your otherwise clean and healthy teeth. It is a procedure that lets you maintain a beautiful, healthy and bright smile throughout with impeccable oral health.

  • Gross Debridement

The gross debridement procedure is for people who have resisted dental visits for too long. Severe tartar and plaque development in such scenarios is likely to occur. Therefore, dentists choose a coarse debridement for deep cleaning the tartar across all mouth areas for people seeing a dentist after a long time.

The first thing a dentist does in such cases is perform a complete dental check up. Based on the results, your dentist will choose between a routine prophylactic cleaning or a debridement before prophylactic cleaning.

  • Scaling 


Root scaling or planning is a non-surgical but slightly invasive dental procedure. It involves a deep cleaning of the gum line and the supporting structure of the teeth. Dentists choose the scaling procedure primarily for patients suffering from one or the other form of gum disease like gingivitis or periodontitis. This specific teeth cleaning procedure involves smoothing the tooth root’s surface and eliminating any existing plaque or tartar. The procedure might take a few visits since the gums are already sensitive due to a disease.

  • Periodontal Maintenance 

Periodontal maintenance is a dental hygiene procedure for people dealing with multiple oral health issues. People suffering from gingivitis, or periodontitis in particular, undergo this procedure. The procedure entails regular visits to your dental office to cleanse your mouth of all plaque, tartar and other impurities. The procedure is a time taking one and goes on until all the oral problems and symptoms of gum disease are adequately managed.

  • Polishing

Polishing is also a routine dental cleaning procedure done in case of minor plaque buildup. Your dental hygienist uses a rubber cup and a pumice paste to polish your teeth. The polishing removes the biofilm on the teeth’ surface, reducing the plaque buildup without any impact on your enamel.

Benefits of Regular Dental Cleanings

Routine Dental Cleaning

Routine dental cleaning offers several benefits for your overall and oral health. Some of these benefits include:

  • Prevention of gum disease and early tooth loss
  • Elimination of stains or discoloration of the teeth
  • Prevention of cavities and tooth decay
  • Elimination of bad breadth, thus keeping your mouth fresh and healthy

Improve overall health with reduced risk of heart disease, stroke or dementia

How Long Do Dental Cleanings Take?

If you maintain good oral hygiene, dental cleanings will hardly take more than 30 mins. But, if your oral practices are lacking or you have periodontal disease, the procedure can take a subsequent time, depending on the seriousness of your condition. With periodontitis, a cleaning procedure may sometimes take several appointments.

Are Dental Cleanings Necessary? 

Routine dental cleanings are necessary for maintaining your best oral health. A daily brushing and flossing habit take care of the major amount of plaque, while professional teeth cleaning will sort out any leftovers. A professional cleaning removes debris, plaque, tartar and biofilm on your enamel that your brush or floss fails to reach.

How often should you Get your Teeth Cleaned?

In general, a dentist recommends bi-yearly cleanings for most people. However, the frequency varies from person to person. Check with your dentist to ensure what frequency of dental cleanings is best for your oral health.

End Note

So, are dental cleanings worth it? Yes, definitely. A dental cleaning prevents oral diseases and is far more affordable than restorative treatments like fillings and crowns.

So, if you have not had a dental cleaning till now, don’t wait any longer. Reach out to your nearest dental hygienist to book an appointment. Experts at Allwyn Dental are just a call away!