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Teeth Cleaning: Overview, Procedure, Frequency & Benefits

Written by Danica Lacson on October 2, 2018

What is Teeth Cleaning?

Teeth cleaning is a dental procedure done to remove plaque and tartar deposits that may have buildup. It is often done to prevent plaque, tartar, and other oral irritants from causing dental problems.

What is involved in Teeth Cleaning?

A teeth cleaning is often part of regular dental appointment along with a dental exam. Often a teeth cleaning treatment is done after a dental exam was conducted where your dentist or a dental hygienist will do a visual check on your mouth. If issues were detected, a more comprehensive dental exam may be recommended which can involve a dental X-ray to properly view the dental problem.

Afterward, the teeth cleaning will procedure, starting with the removal of plaque and tartar using a scaler. The dental hygienist or the dentist will use the tool to scrap the plaque and tartar on the tooth's surface, as well as, the gingival pockets. Scaling will then be followed by root planing which will also involve the removal of plaque and tartar but this time, on the surface of the tooth roots.

Next, the dental hygienist or the dentist will polish the tooth surface using a small, motorized rubber cup called a prophy cup and attached to an abrasive polishing compound. Through polishing, plaque and tartar buildup will be more difficult as the teeth will have a smoother texture. Moreover, the teeth will appear cleaner and shinier as stains and discoloration are removed.

Aside from scaling, root planing, and polishing, a fluoride treatment may be recommended by your dentist. Fluoride can help strengthen the teeth, particularly the outermost layer called enamel.

How often should I get a Teeth Cleaning Procedure?

Teeth cleaning is recommended at least twice a year as part of the regular dental checkup by the American Dental Association.

How long does a Teeth Cleaning Procedure take?

On average, a teeth cleaning procedure can take 30 minutes to an hour. But, the time it takes to clean the teeth is dependent on the condition of your teeth. The more plaque and tartar, the more time needed to get the teeth cleaning done.

How much is a Teeth Cleaning Procedure?

A teeth cleaning procedure can cost between 75 US dollars to 200 US dollars. With dental X-rays and an exam, the cost can reach up to 300 US dollars. The good news is that dental insurance covers 100 percent of the cost of teeth cleaning.

Why should I undergo a Teeth Cleaning Procedure?

Getting a professional teeth cleaning is imperative for better oral health. As teeth cleaning removes plaque and tartar buildup which, if left untreated, can cause dental problems like cavities and gum disease which can be detrimental to oral health and overall quality of life.

Moreover, a teeth cleaning procedure gives your mouth fresher breath and helps in maintaining the pearly white appearance of your teeth.

Disclaimer: The oral health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. Hawaii Family Dental strongly recommends to always consult licensed dentists or other qualified health care professionals for any questions concerning your oral health.


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