Professional Dental Cleanings: What You Should Know

27 September 2022
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

Our mouths are brimming with bacteria and that is perfectly natural. However, bacteria are the culprit in many dental maladies from decay to abscesses. Thankfully, there is a simple solution to the damage bacteria causes. Read all about some types of dental cleanings you may not have heard of.

Preventative Cleaning

Otherwise known as a prophylaxis cleaning, this is the cleaning everyone is familiar with when they see their dental hygienist as recommended by the dentist. It's called preventative because part of the cleaning process involves a detailed examination of your teeth. Decay and gum disease can be spotted by the hygienist and the dental consultation afterward will confirm the need for more procedures if anything is found. If you have been taking care of your teeth at home, your cleaning appointment will consist of the removal of plaque buildup and tartar from all sides of your teeth and tooth polishing.

Root Attention

If issues are spotted during cleaning, it could be time for some attention to your roots. You may hear this type of cleaning described as deep cleaning. That's an appropriate description since scaling involves cleaning not only the surfaces of the teeth but well into the gum pockets that lie below the surface.

Root planing is about smoothing out the roots so they can reattach to the teeth. That helps get rid of gum pockets where bacteria can hang out and wreak havoc. Both deep cleaning methods reduce bacteria and thus they cut down on the instances of infection in the gums. How often scaling and root planing must be done depends on the condition of your gums. Those plagued by gingivitis and other gum disorders may need to come in quite often for deep cleaning. Gum diseases can get worse if not treated and can even endanger a person's general health.


Gross debridement is the most intensive type of professional cleaning. Dental patients who have a lot of tartar and plaque may need debridement. This type of treatment is also recommended for those who have not had proper dental care in some time. Often, special tools are used to remove hardened tartar and plaque from the surface of teeth.

Home Cleaning

You can avoid the debridement and the like by cleaning your teeth at home after each meal and before bed. Floss and use a fluoride rinse also. Speak to your dentist to find out more about the above types of cleanings. 

For more info, visit a local office like Midtown Family Dentistry.