Dental Cleaning

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process of using stomatological brush as a stage of professional dental cleaning procedure

Benefits of Dental Cleaning

Regular professional teeth cleanings offer many benefits for enhancing your oral health and well-being. By understanding these benefits, we can better appreciate the importance of maintaining routine visits to their dentist.

Firstly, they help prevent cavities and gum disease by removing plaque and tartar buildup, which harbors harmful bacteria. Additionally, dental cleanings contribute to fresher breath, as they eliminate the source of odor-causing bacteria. Moreover, these appointments provide an opportunity for early detection of issues such as tooth decay, gum inflammation, or even oral cancer, allowing for prompt intervention and treatment. Furthermore, by keeping the teeth and gums healthy, regular cleanings can help prevent the need for more serious dental procedures and associated expenses in the long run. Let’s review them in more detail.

Preventing Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a common problem that can lead to severe dental issues if not addressed at the onset. Plaque, a sticky layer of bacteria that forms on the tooth surface, can erode tooth enamel and, if not removed, hardens into tartar. Tartar is more challenging to remove and can lead to cavities. Regular dental cleanings remove tartar from teeth and gum lines, significantly reducing the risk of cavities and ensuring the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums.

Preventing Gum Disease

Gum disease begins as gingivitis. Gingivitis is characterized by red, puffy, and bleeding gums. Gingivitis, in its early stages, is totally reversible. But left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease. Periodontitis is a leading cause of tooth loss. This more advanced stage involves the destruction of bone and tissues supporting the teeth. Deep cleaning is crucial in preventing gum disease, as they involve the removal of the plaque and tartar that harbor bacteria. These bacteria are responsible for the inflammation of the gums and destruction of bone. By regularly eliminating these bacteria through professional cleanings, the onset of gum disease can be prevented, preserving the health of both gums and the teeth they support. 

Maintaining Overall Oral Health

Cleanings help in maintaining fresh breath by removing bacteria that cause bad odors. Moreover, dental cleanings aid in preserving tooth enamel. Enamel, the hard protective outer surface of the teeth, is crucial for protecting against decay and sensitivity. Once it has eroded, enamel does not regenerate, making its preservation essential for long-term dental health. Enamel erosion makes a tooth both more sensitive and more susceptible to decay. Regular cleanings ensure that enamel-damaging substances are kept at bay, contributing to the longevity and strength of teeth.

Who Needs Dental Cleaning?

All Age Groups

Routine teeth cleanings are universally beneficial across all age demographics. They play a vital role in maintaining oral hygiene and preventing dental diseases.


For children, the journey to oral health begins early. Children should ideally have their first dental visit within six months after their first tooth emerges or by their first birthday, whichever comes first. This visit is largely about establishing a good positive relationship between the child and the dentist, laying the foundation for a lifetime of good oral health habits. Pediatric dentists, called Pedodontists, are your best bet for a great first experience. Since they treat only children, they not only are geared toward making it a fun and happy visit, they really understand a child’s mentality and how to relate to them and make them comfortable. To find a Pedodontist in your area, check out the directory on the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s website.  


Adults of all ages benefit from regular dental cleanings to prevent issues like tooth decay, gum disease, and more severe problems. When a tooth gets a cavity, the rate of decay can advance at varying rates in different patients. Most people don’t know they have a cavity until it’s so bad it begins to hurt. Waiting until a tooth hurts to visit the dentist can lead to several issues. Firstly, by the time pain develops, it often indicates that a dental problem has already progressed significantly, potentially requiring more extensive treatment than if it had been detected earlier. For example, a cavity that causes pain may have already advanced to the point where it requires a root canal or extraction, whereas if it had been identified during a routine dental exam, it could have been treated with a simple filling.


The elderly face unique challenges in dental care, including increased dry mouth, tooth sensitivity, and general wear and tear of their teeth. Moreover, many elderly individuals may have underlying health conditions or take medications that affect their oral health. For example, certain medications can cause dry mouth, greatly increasing the risk of cavities and gum disease. This list of medications is quite extensive! Dry mouth, a common occurrence in older people, commonly leads to recurrent decay, and therefore, the need for more frequent monitoring. Additionally, health conditions like diabetes can impact oral health and require specialized dental care. Regular dental cleanings become essential for monitoring and managing these issues, helping to maintain dental health and function.

Special Considerations

Pregnant Women

Pregnant women should have regular dental cleanings for several important reasons. Firstly, hormonal changes during pregnancy can increase the risk of developing gum disease, known as pregnancy gingivitis. Moreover, untreated gum disease during pregnancy has been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, including preterm birth and low birth weight. By maintaining good oral health through regular cleanings, pregnant women can reduce the risk of these complications and promote the health of both themselves and their babies. Dental cleanings are not only safe but are recommended during pregnancy to help manage this increased risk and maintain oral health.


Individuals with diabetes are at a higher risk of infections, including gum disease, due to the body’s decreased ability to fight bacteria. Gum disease and diabetes have a bidirectional relationship, meaning that each condition can worsen the other. Poorly controlled diabetes can impair the body’s ability to heal and fight infection, making gum disease more difficult to manage. Conversely, untreated gum disease can make it harder for individuals with diabetes to control their blood sugar levels, leading to further complications. For diabetics, dental cleanings are a critical part of their overall health regimen, helping to manage diabetes by reducing potential oral infections that can affect blood sugar control.

Individuals with Heart Conditions

People with heart conditions need frequent dental cleanings for several important reasons. Firstly, there is a well-established link between oral health and cardiovascular health. Poor oral hygiene and untreated gum disease can contribute to inflammation throughout the body, including in the blood vessels, which may increase the risk of heart disease and exacerbate existing heart conditions. Regular dental cleanings help remove dental plaque and tartar buildup, reducing the risk of gum disease and its associated inflammation, thus potentially lowering the risk of cardiovascular complications.

Moreover, individuals with certain heart conditions, such as those with artificial heart valves or a history of infective endocarditis, may be at increased risk of bacterial infections spreading from the mouth to the bloodstream. These infections can lead to serious complications, including infective endocarditis, an infection of the heart’s lining or valves. Regular dental cleanings help maintain oral health and reduce the risk of bacterial infections that could potentially affect the heart.

Those with heart conditions should consult with both their dental professional and cardiologist prior to undergoing any dental procedures. This is to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to prevent any risk of infections, such as endocarditis, which is an infection of the inner lining of the heart chambers and valves.

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How Often Should You Get a Dental Cleaning?

The frequency of dental cleanings can vary depending on individual oral health needs and risk factors. In general, most people should schedule a dental cleaning every six months, or twice a year. This schedule allows thorough removal of plaque and tartar buildup, assessment of oral health, and preventive care to maintain optimal dental hygiene. However, some individuals may require more frequent cleanings based on factors such as:

Gum health: Individuals with gum disease or a history of periodontal problems may need more frequent cleanings to manage their condition and prevent its progression.

Oral hygiene habits: Those who struggle with maintaining good oral hygiene habits at home, leading to increased plaque and tartar buildup, may benefit from more frequent cleanings to prevent oral health problems.

Medical conditions: People with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, may be at higher risk of oral health problems and could benefit from more frequent cleanings to maintain oral health and reduce associated risks.

Smoking: Smokers are at increased risk of developing gum disease and other oral health problems due to the effects of smoking on oral tissues. More frequent cleanings may be recommended to mitigate these risks.

Presence of extensive dental restorations: Individuals with dental restorations such as crowns, bridges, or implants may require more frequent cleanings to ensure the longevity and health of their restorations.

It is essential to consult with your dentist to determine the appropriate frequency of dental cleanings based on your individual needs and oral health status. Your dentist can evaluate your oral health, discuss any risk factors or concerns, and recommend a personalized cleaning schedule to help you maintain optimal oral hygiene and overall health.

Tailored Schedules for Specific Oral Health Issues

We have patients that only come once a year, and some who need to come every 3 months. Patients with certain conditions like gum disease, severe dry mouth, or a high tendency for plaque buildup typically need more frequent cleanings. 

Preparation for a Dental Cleaning

How to Prepare for Your Dental Cleaning Appointment

Before a dental cleaning, be sure and maintain your routine oral hygiene of regular brushing and flossing. If you’ve got any concerns or questions for the doctor, let the dental hygienist know at the beginning of your appointment. She will be sure to let him know early on, so he can make time to address your concerns.

What Questions to Ask Your Dentist or Hygienist

  • Inquire about any signs of decay or gum disease.
  • Ask for tips on improving brushing and flossing techniques.
  • Discuss any sensitivities or problems noticed with your teeth or gums.
  • Request an update on the overall health of your mouth and what steps can be taken at home to further improve oral hygiene.


Consistent dental cleanings are essential for preserving dental health across every life phase, no matter your age. From teaching children proper brushing techniques to helping adults in combating plaque accumulation, and assisting the elderly in addressing age-related dental issues, routine cleanings establish a fundamental basis for oral hygiene that is beneficial for all. These cleanings not only serve to prevent dental problems but also play a crucial role in early detection of potential issues. Our oral health greatly contributes to our overall health in so many ways. By incorporating regular dental check-ups into your healthcare routine, you adopt a proactive stance towards your oral health.

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