Dental appointment days can be dreadful for some people. Between not knowing what to expect, the fear of prodding and needle pricks and not even knowing why dental procedures like cleanings are necessary, the fear can be a little too much to bear. Not to worry, that’s why we’re here to help!

At Waterloo Dentals, we believe the comfort and confidence of every patient in their dental procedure is a priority. That’s why we’re going to be telling you everything you need to know about dental cleanings and what they do in this post.


What Is A Dental Cleaning?

Dental Cleanings are a set of procedures that are used to keep the gums and teeth clean. They could take between thirty minutes to an hour and are performed by a dental hygienist or dentist.


What Procedures Are Involved In A Dental Cleaning?

1. Physical Examination

Before your dental hygienist starts the cleaning process, they first examine your mouth with the aid of a concave mirror to check for any oral or dental problems. This tells the hygienist what to do and where to focus on while cleaning. It also helps him refer any serious issues to the dentist.

2. Tartar Removal/Scaling

This involves the removal of accumulated plaque or tartar from the teeth surface and between teeth. It is done using a small hooked tool called a Scaler which can be manual or ultrasonic depending on the amount of tartar to be removed.

3. Teeth Polishing and Flossing

A handheld electric machine is used to polish the teeth and remove any stains that might have been on the teeth. You can expect a slow grinding motion in the mouth.

4. Fluoride Treatments

This part is optional and depends on the discretion of your dental hygienist. A mouthpiece filled with fluoride gel of any preferred flavor is worn for approximately a minute.

Do Dental Cleanings Hurt?

Normally, the discomfort from a dental cleaning is minimal but it could be more painful based on a few factors:

  • Time between cleanings
  • Sensitivity of teeth due to inflammation, decay or disease
  • Temporomandibular disorders that cause jaw pain

Benefits Of A Dental Cleaning

1. Brighter and Whiter Teeth

Dental cleaning helps to remove built up stains on your teeth that may have been caused by foods, drinks or smoking. Clean, stain free teeth boosts your confidence and brightens your smile.

2. Reduced Bad Breath

Bad breath is unsavory and can deplete self-confidence especially when around other people. Bad breath can be eliminated by ensuring that the teeth are cleaned regularly, not just by daily oral care but by routine dental cleaning treatment.

3. Prevention of Cavities

Tooth decay can be caused by the buildup of plaque on the teeth which erodes your tooth enamel and leads to cavities. Routine oral care and periodic dental cleaning can help to prevent this.

4. Prevention of Tooth Loss

There is loosening of the gum and teeth when plaque builds up on the teeth and causes gum disease.

Gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss and can be prevented through oral hygiene and dental cleaning.

5. Optimal Oral and General Health

Your oral and overall health is boosted when you ensure that your dental cleanings are regular. It helps in keeping your risk of diseases low and also helps in early detection of some other medical conditions.

It is recommended by the Academy of General Dentistry that professional dental cleaning should be done at least twice a year to keep oral health at it’s best.