Routine Dental Cleaning

What To Expect During A Routine Dental Cleaning

Your dentist probably asks you to come in every six months for routine dental cleaning. This article explains why regular cleanings are important and what you can expect from this procedure.
Routine Dental Cleaning | Lake Elmo, MN

The Importance of Routine Dental Cleaning

The name implies what the procedure is – it is dental cleaning done by a dental professional at regular intervals.
Routine dental cleanings are crucial for the following reasons –
Remove of Plaque & Tartar

Removal of Plaque and Calculus

Plaque is a thin, sticky film of bacteria that coats your teeth. It can also get in between your teeth and underneath the gum line.
Calculus, on the other hand, is hardened plaque. This occurs when plaque is left untouched for a while.
Improper brushing and flossing techniques or failure to do so leads to plaque and calculus deposition.

While plaque can be removed by simple brushing, eliminating calculus requires professional intervention.

Routine dental cleaning removes any trapped plaque and calculus, making the mouth bacteria-free.

Prevention of Gum Disease

Plaque and calculus deposits irritate the gums and cause gum disease (formally known as gingivitis). The indicators of gum disease are –
  • Red and swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bad breath
If left untreated, gum disease progresses into periodontitis, leading to loose teeth and tooth loss.
Routine dental cleaning performed by your dentist prevents gum disease and future dental problems.

Prevention of Tooth Decay

Similar to gum disease, plaque and calculus also lead the way to cavities. A small cavity that isn’t taken care of can turn into a deeper infection. Poor oral hygiene also speeds up the process.
A tooth that is severely decayed needs to be removed to prevent the infection from spreading to adjacent teeth and oral tissues.

Removal of Stains

Certain colored foods and beverages can stain our teeth. For example, tea, coffee, red wine, fruit juices, colored candies, etc. Smoking is can also form stains on your teeth.
Stained teeth don’t look appealing, and routine dental cleaning removes most surface stains, making our teeth look as good as new.

Routine Dental Cleaning Procedure

The following steps clarify what to expect during a routine dental cleaning procedure.

The Initial Examination

Your dentist or a dental hygienist performs routine dental cleanings. The first thing to happen is a complete evaluation of your teeth, gums, and other oral structures.
Any changes since the last visit are noted, and the cleaning process begins if no major causes of concern are seen.

Removing the Plaque and Calculus

Using a dental scaler, secondly, your dentist or dental hygienist removes the plaque and calculus from the tooth surface.

Do not worry about the scraping sound you hear – it is normal. The more plaque deposits you have, the more your dentist will scrape that particular area.
How to Whiten Teeth
Routine Dental Cleaning - Flossing

Cleaning with a Gritty Toothpaste

Once the scaling is done, after that, your dentist brushes the teeth with a high-powered electric toothbrush. It makes a scary grinding sound, but it’s great for deep cleaning and removing any tartar that is left behind.

The toothbrush uses toothpaste with a gritty consistency that scrubs your teeth. The toothpaste tastes and smells just like your regular one. This step is safe when done by a professional, so avoid doing it at home; otherwise, you will wear down your enamel.


Your dentist flosses your teeth to eliminate any leftover plaque in-between the teeth. An expert’s flossing ensures that all the hard-to-reach areas are taken care of.

Moreover, This step also helps locate any potential trouble spots in the gums.


Your dentist asks you to rinse your mouth using a liquid containing fluoride. This flushes out any debris that is in the mouth.

Applying the Fluoride

Fluoride treatments prevent your teeth from developing cavities.
Your dentist will apply the treatment as a gel, paste, or varnish. Once the fluoride is in contact with saliva, it hardens and coats the teeth.
Rinse Mouth Before Fluoride treatment
Routine Dental Cleaning in Lake Elmo, MN

Routine Dental Cleaning At Valley Ridge Dental, MN

If you’ve been putting off your dental visits, it is never too late to restart the process. Don’t be embarrassed that you haven’t gotten a routine dental cleaning. At Valley Ridge Dental, we don’t judge!

Simply pick up the phone and call us at (651) 439-0322. If this is your first time visiting the Valley Ridge Dental office, you can fill in this form. We cannot wait to see you and kickstart your journey to a brighter, fresher smile!

Routine Dental Cleaning FAQs

Is routine dental cleaning painful?

No, routine dental cleaning isn’t painful. However, if you are sensitive to sounds or are worried about the process, speak to your dentist. They will help you with any issues you might have.

What is the difference between routine dental cleaning and deep cleaning?

Routine dental cleaning is professional cleaning done every six months or so. Special instruments are used in deep cleaning to clean the plaque and tartar from underneath the gum line to the tooth root.
Deep cleaning is advised for patients with gum disease, where the gum has started to pull away from the tooth.

Do I need to get a routine dental cleaning every six months?

Ideally, yes, you should visit your dentist every six months. However, the visit interval also depends on the status of your oral health.
People with poor oral health will are to visit more often. On the other hand, people with good oral health may get a dental cleaning every 8-10 months.

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