Teeth Cleaning

Comprehensive Dental Care in St. Paul, Minnesota

At Maplewood Dental Associates, we take pride in providing expert dental care while maintaining a warm, welcoming office environment. Our doctors and highly trained team of dental specialists strive to treat every patient on an individual level, creating personalized treatment plans aimed at helping each patient achieve a beautiful smile in the long-term. We believe that prevention is the best way to secure a healthy smile, and an important component of that preventative work is regular professional teeth cleaning treatments.

Part of Your Oral Hygiene Routine

You probably know that the cornerstones of a strong oral hygiene regimen are brushing and flossing – but even for the diligent brusher and flosser, these aren't enough on their own. In addition to regular brushing and flossing, regular professional teeth cleanings are a critical part of proper oral hygiene. While daily brushing and flossing are important, they aren't enough to stave off cavities entirely without professional help.

Over time, bacteria that occur naturally in your mouth harden into plaque, and the teeth can develop tartar, which is a hard deposit of minerals. The bacteria found in these deposits secrete corrosive acids that eat away at tooth enamel, eventually leading to dental decay, cavities, and gum disease. Without proper care and cleanings, plaque and tartar pose a serious risk to your teeth.

Both of these are difficult to remove without professional tools – and while a brush can clean most areas of the tooth, there are some parts that are nearly impossible to fully clean without a professional hygienist. Professional cleanings give your teeth the deep clean they need, removing any remaining plaque and tartar and giving your mouth a fresh start.

The Professional Cleaning Procedure


Usually, your teeth cleaning will be performed by one of our dental hygienists. Our dental hygienists are highly trained technicians who've spent years studying the tools and techniques of dental hygiene, learning how to remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar from every area of your teeth. Your hygienist will carefully tailor your cleaning to match your unique mouth and cleaning needs, effectively removing plaque and tartar.

Your cleaning will start with an oral examination, during which your hygienist will evaluate the health of your teeth, gums, and other tissues. If they don't see any serious problems, they'll then move on to the cleaning. Usually, this involves using a special tool called an ultrasonic scaler to clean the teeth. The scaler is a hand-held instrument with a pointed tip that vibrates at an extremely high frequency, breaking up deposits of plaque and tartar while leaving the teeth unharmed. The scaler also produces a constant jet of water (called lavage), which both cools the tip and washes away debris.

Our hygienists will also use curettes, which are hand-held, unpowered versions of the scaler that do not vibrate. Cleaning the teeth takes only a moderate level of pressure, and you may experience little discomfort during the procedure.

Once your cleaning is finished, your hygienist will polish your teeth. To do this, they'll use a low-speed rotary brush and a gritty gel similar to toothpaste. The brush spins the gel around, gently polishing the teeth to make them smooth and shiny. Once you're finished, your teeth will look and feel great!

Things to Know for Teeth Cleaning

In general, patients experience little to no discomfort during dental cleanings. In fact, some people even enjoy the process – and especially the experience of seeing their newly cleaned teeth! If you do experience discomfort during the cleaning, be sure to let us know, as we may be able to use a numbing gel to keep you more comfortable.

If you haven't had a cleaning for a while or your gums are irritated from bacterial build-up, your gums may bleed or get sore during the cleaning. If you experience this, you dental hygienist will discuss this with you and provide steps you can take to reduce the inflammation and get your mouth back to a healthy state. In-office teeth cleanings are a critical part of your oral hygiene regimen, and we hope to see you in the office for one soon!

Contact Your Maplewood, MN Family Dentist

As always, if you have any questions on teeth cleaning, our office, or your oral health, we're always happy to help. Feel free to call us at 651-770-3831 with any questions, reach out to us at our contact page, or request an appointment online at our Maplewood, MN office. We can't wait to hear from you, and we're excited to help you achieve a beautiful, clean, healthy smile!

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