Teeth cleaning explained

Dental Prophylaxis (Cleaning) in Gainesville, Florida

What is Dental Teeth Cleaning or Dental Prophylaxis?

Also called professional teeth cleaning, dental prophylaxis is a treatment for the prevention of periodontal diseases or other dental diseases by the cleaning of the teeth in the dental office using the procedures of DENTAL SCALING and DENTAL POLISHING. The treatment may include plaque detection, removal of supra- and subgingival plaque and calculus, application of caries-preventing agents, checking of restorations and prostheses and correcting overhanging margins and proximal contours of restorations, and checking for signs of food impaction.

How often should I have my teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist?

Professional teeth cleaning is recommended every six months for patients who have healthy teeth and gums. Patients who show the early signs of gum disease (gingivitis), as well as those in the more advanced stages of periodontitis, may need to undergo cleanings at our Gainesville, Florida dental office more frequently than this to ensure that the condition does not progress any further.


The primary goal of teeth cleaning is to remove the plaque and tartar, also known as dental calculus that lead to periodontal disease (gingivitis).


What is dental plaque?

Dental plaque (a.k.a tooth plaque) is the sticky film that clings to the teeth in your jaw, and it contains oral bacteria that can irritate and inflame the gum tissues if not removed on a regular basis with proper flossing and brushing. Plaque that is left behind will eventually harden into a calcified substance called tartar. When tartar forms along the gumline, it can break the strong bond the gum tissues have to the teeth, leading to infection and a breakdown of the gums and bone that hold the teeth firmly in place.

Teeth cleaning procedure at dentist explained.

During a professional dental cleaning, our Gainesville, FL dental hygienist uses a tool called a scaler to gently remove hard tartar from the teeth. We also polish the teeth using a special dental instrument and a slightly gritty paste that removes surface stains and gives the teeth a slick, shiny surface. This makes the teeth easier to clean at home and less likely to collect and harbor harmful oral bacteria and plaque.

What do our hygienists use to clean your teeth?

Firstly, your hygienist will use an ultrasonic cleaner and a water sprayer to loosen and remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and gums. Secondly, your hygienists will scrape additional plaque and tartar off your teeth by using a metal tool called a hand scraper. Lastly, after the plaque is removed, your teeth are polished by the hygienist with a rotary prophy handpiece, with a rubber tip and prophy paste. This leaves your teeth polished, smooth and shiny.

Smart Smile Dentistry can help you determine if dental cleaning is necessary immediately or at your regularly scheduled dental cleaning appointment. Contact our teeth cleaning hygienists at Smart Smile Dentistry in our Gainesville location today at (352) 376-5120 to schedule your appointment.