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- Dr. Atila C. Miranda, DDS -

- Dr. Don M. Preble, DMD -

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Teeth Cleanings

No matter how well you brush and floss, and how dedicated you are to maintain good oral health, plaque and tartar build up on your teeth. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends each person see a dentist every six months for a thorough dental cleaning.

Why Are Cleanings at a Dentist's Office Good for You?

Dental cleanings done in the office by a dental health care provider are more thorough and intense than cleaning you can do for yourself through daily brushing and flossing. But, what makes a cleaning at Dr. Miranda's office different from the cleaning you're doing at home? Here are the main reasons why cleanings at a dental office are good for you:

  • Dental health providers can clean areas that you normally can't reach with your own brushing and flossing. Places like the backs of rear teeth and areas slightly under the gum line are just a few of the trouble areas where plaque and tartar often build up.
  • Professional cleanings are deeper and more intense. Deep dental cleanings will also help eliminate any bacterial infections building up between the teeth and gums.

Why Are Teeth Cleanings Important?

Teeth cleanings are important because your teeth are an important part of your health and physical appearance. Strong, healthy teeth help improve a person's self-esteem, but are also the sign of good overall health. Teeth cleanings can also:

  • Discover and treat oral problems such as cavities, broken teeth, and tooth decay before they become painful or more serious health problems.
  • Check for signs of gum disease (untreated gum disease has been linked to major health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and strokes).
  • Catch early signs of oral cancer.
  • Improve any issues with bad breath.
  • Give your teeth a clean, healthy appearance.

How Are Teeth Cleanings Done?

Typically, a teeth cleaning will last between 30 minutes and an hour. Usually, the dentist does not perform these cleanings. Teeth cleanings are most often performed by trained dental hygienists, with the dentist meeting with patients after the cleaning for an oral exam or consultation. Patients at our practice tell us that they find the cleanings done at our office to be painless and do not result in any tooth discomfort. Here are the two main steps of the teeth cleaning process:

  • Scaling your teeth. During this portion of the cleaning, the dental hygienist removes any plaque or tartar from tooth surfaces by scraping it away. The hygienist will also clean pockets of the gums to remove and plaque or tartar build-up there (which cause gum disease).
  • Polishing and buffing your teeth. This removes any final left over plaque or tartar after scaling. A hygienist will use several different sized polishers to clean hard to reach places in your mouth.

Types of Teeth Cleanings


The most basic teeth cleaning, covered by most dental insurance companies. This cleaning removes plaque on the teeth and at the gum line.

Full mouth debridement:

Removal of build-up on teeth that cause gingivitis, a type of gum disease.

Scaling and root planning (SRP):

Treatment above and below the gum line that removes plaque build-up, smooths the surface of exposed roots, and may include use of fluoride.

Your Post-Cleaning Consultation

Teeth cleanings are usually followed by a consultation with your dentist. Depending on the condition of your teeth and how long it's been since your last cleaning, Dr. Miranda may request X-rays to detect any potential oral health problems. If any issues are discovered, he will advise you the correct treatment options, as well as recommendations for preventing additional oral health problems.

Don't Undervalue the Importance of Clean Teeth

Most of our patients experience little-to-no discomfort during teeth cleanings. What all patients do experience is the dramatic improvements to their smile a teeth cleaning provides. To schedule your teeth cleaning, or to find out more about the procedure, contact our dental office today to schedule an appointment.

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