How Often Should You

How Often Should You Get a Dental Cleaning?

Team General Dentistry

Dental cleanings are essential to protect and maintain your oral health. Dentists recommend that most patients receive cleanings every six months.

Why Dental Cleanings Are Important

Dentists and hygienists emphasize the need for regular cleanings. When you see your dentist as recommended, you can detect potential issues, keep problems in check, and improve your oral health. Without cleanings, your oral health may suffer.

Patients may skip cleanings because they feel anxious about visiting the dentist, but going without dental care only leads to more problems later on. If you feel worried about cleanings, talk to your dentist or hygienist. They will do their best to handle the process gently and make you feel comfortable.

Reasons to Maintain a Regular Cleaning Schedule

1. Prevent Gum Disease

Gum or periodontal disease is a major cause of bad breath, tooth loss, and bone loss. If you receive regular cleanings and maintain a healthy home oral care routine, you will be less likely to develop this serious disease.

2. Prevent Tooth Decay

Removing plaque and tartar makes tooth decay less likely.

3. Keep Watch On Your Oral Health

When you see your dentist every six months or more, they can check on your oral health and the status of restorations like fillings and crowns.

4. Receive Oral Care Instruction

If your dentist or hygienist notices that you have not been taking good care of your teeth at home, they can offer vital tips to improve your technique.

5. Protect Your Overall Health

Physicians and scientists associate gum disease with stroke, cardiovascular disease, and preterm birth, among other conditions. A constant state of inflammation caused by gum disease could lead to these problems.

Dental cleanings also include oral cancer screenings. Oral cancer is often associated with tobacco and alcohol use, but it can happen to anyone. Many patients miss the signs of oral cancer, but dentists can detect abnormalities and recommend the proper treatment.

6. Save Money Over Time

Most dental insurance plans provide generous coverage for preventive services like cleanings and oral cancer screenings. Regular cleanings help to prevent and detect problems at earlier stages, meaning that your dental costs will be lower overall.

Steps in a Dental Cleaning


The first step in dental cleaning is a basic exam. The hygienist will check your gums and teeth for potential problems using a small handheld mirror and determine the effectiveness of your home oral care routine.


Next, the hygienist uses a gentle ultrasonic instrument to break up and remove tartar deposits. Tartar is a hard substance formed by plaque and food particles. Tartar can only be removed by a dental professional. If any deposits remain after the ultrasonic cleaning, the hygienist uses a scaler to remove them.


The next step is polishing the teeth with a high-powered electric brush. The hygienist achieves a deep cleaning using this brush and gritty toothpaste. You may be able to choose a toothpaste flavor you like.


The hygienist will floss your teeth, removing all debris and checking to see whether you have bleeding gums, which could be a sign of gingivitis or early gum disease. The hygienist will also provide professional tips on flossing techniques.


The hygienist will rinse your teeth completely, leaving a "squeaky clean" feeling behind. You may receive a fluoride rinse as well.


Fluoride treatment is the last step. Children most frequently receive fluoride, but adults can request it as well. Fluoride may be in the form of a gel, foam, or varnish.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Cleanings

Do dental cleanings damage teeth?

Dental cleanings do not damage teeth. Removing plaque and tartar benefits your oral health. People with larger tartar deposits may need more scaling, which can cause mild gum discomfort but does not damage the tooth itself.

When should children begin receiving dental cleanings?

Today, dentists recommend that children have their first dental cleaning and exam when their first tooth erupts or by the age of twelve months. Children who receive dental care starting in infancy have better outcomes later in life.

Call Manhattan Dental Spa

Dental cleanings are a vital part of protecting your oral health. If you need a dental cleaning, please call our Murray Hill, NYC office at 212-683-2530 or schedule an appointment online. We can help you reach your goal of better oral health.