All About Professional Dental Cleanings

professional dental cleaningOn average, most people visit their dentist twice a year for routine examinations and checkups. During these visits you will probably have X-rays taken of your mouth, receive a teeth cleaning from a hygienist, and discuss any concerns with your dentist. Professional dental cleanings are an essential part of your oral hygiene routine because they allow your dentist to check for any abnormalities, prescribe and perform necessary treatments, and clean any tartar buildup left behind by your toothbrush.

Why are professional cleanings necessary?

Although you may be extremely diligent when it comes to your oral hygiene routine, there are certain types of buildup that should only be professionally removed. Tarter is a hard, yellowish deposit, that forms on your teeth when plaque is not adequately cleaned away. Once tarter forms, it cannot be brushed from your teeth, and must be removed during a professional cleaning. Left unchecked, tarter buildup can cause periodontal disease and tooth loss.

How often do I need a professional dental cleaning?

The American Dental Association recommends routine cleanings and preventive care visits every 6 months for the average adult. Depending on your dentist’s advice, you may require more or less examinations throughout the year.

What is scaling?

Scaling your teeth is a normal procedure used to remove particles of hard buildup that have accumulated near your gum line over time. The process is fairly simple, but requires special tools to fracture the excessive calculus deposits safely from your teeth. Once all the large particles have been removed, your hygienist will scale slightly below your gum line to remove any remaining buildup that could cause gum disease. When scaling is complete, your teeth will be polished with a special toothpaste to remove any surface scratches from your teeth that would otherwise accumulate plaque.


For over 15 years, Dr. Michelle Collier and the talented professionals at Waterstone Family Dentistry have provided comfortable, compassionate dental care to patients of all ages from Fuquay Varina, NC, as well as Holly Springs, Angier, Willow Springs, Raleigh, and all surrounding communities. If you’d like to learn more, you can schedule a consultation with Dr. Collier by calling (919) 557-5250 today.

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