Dental cleaning

The importance of dental cleaning

The mouth is a very favorable environment for bacterial development. In fact, it is completely normal for everyone to have bacteria in the oral cavity. Dental plaque builds up on teeth every day. It is sticky, invisible and contains bacteria. It is formed on the surface of teeth and even gums. You can remedy this by brushing your teeth and using dental floss daily.

Otherwise, dental plaque hardens and turns into tartar. Tartar, a veritable nest of bacteria, cannot be removed by simple brushing. It is a hard, stubborn mass that only professional dental cleaning can remove.

Too much tartar buildup on your teeth can create an infection called gingivitis. Over time, this infection can get worse and destroy the gums and bone that hold your teeth in place. This advanced stage of gum disease is called periodontitis. If left untreated, your teeth may become loose and even fall out. The increased presence of bacteria in the mouth due to poor dental hygiene may also be responsible for the appearance of cavities and persistent bad breath. Research has shown the correlation of periodontitis with diabetes and heart disease.

The stages of dental cleaning

For this preventive treatment, you will be comfortably seated in our dental hygiene room. One of our hygienists will take care of you and carry out your treatments. Let’s go over the main stages of dental cleaning. However, since your teeth are unique just like you are, your hygienist may not follow this same order and might adjust according to your needs.


Scaling is the first step which consists in removing calcified deposits (tartar) on the teeth and, if necessary, under the gums. We use ultrasonic and manual instruments to dislodge the tartar deposits that clog up the teeth and engorge the gums. Scaling is essential for dental structures to regain their health and is the only way to remove them. It is often the amount and location of tartar in the mouth that will determine what type of cleaning treatment is right for you. In fact, the formation of tartar deposits will vary from one person to another and will require more or less complex descaling work. Your hygienist will confirm with you the type of care that is right for you. Here are the different scaling classifications.

  • Surface scaling is classified from 1 to 4 (from the smallest amount of tartar to the largest). It consists of a more or less significant scaling of the teeth on the surface and slightly under the gums if necessary.
  • Scaling under the gums in depth
    It consists of a significant scaling of the teeth on the surface and deeper under the gums. This type of treatment usually requires local anesthesia of the area being worked on.
  • Closed dental curettage
    It consists of a deep descaling under the gums at the level of the roots of the teeth. We also proceed to the measurement of the bone loss with a periodontal probe. This type of treatment is indicated for patients who have mild to advanced gum disease (periodontitis). This treatment is always carried out with local anesthesia and is carried out by the dentist and the hygienist in collaboration.
  • Open dental curettage
    It consists of a deep scaling at the level of the roots of the teeth by making a surgical incision of the gums. Again, we will proceed by measuring the amount of bone loss with a periodontal probe. This type of treatment is indicated for patients who have very advanced gum disease (periodontitis). This treatment is always carried out with local anesthesia and is carried out by the dentist.

Descaling the teeth is therefore an essential step in dental cleaning, otherwise the health of the teeth and gums could be compromised.


Commonly known as “tooth polishing” the prophylaxis of teeth is the second step in cleaning. This procedure softens and cleans the tooth surface. Prophylaxis improves the appearance, gives shine and even removes certain stains. The main goal is to make the tooth surface smooth so that bacteria (plaque) adhere less easily. To do this, we mainly use 2 techniques:

  • Prophylaxis with a paste
    This technique is carried out with a hand piece fitted with a motor, the end of which has a rubber cup. The prophylactic pastes used contain specific ingredients designed for cleaning teeth and have a controlled level of abrasiveness. They are available in several flavors to enhance the treatment.
  • Prophylaxis with water spray and powder
    This technique is performed using a device that propels a cleaning solution in the form of a powder combined with water onto the teeth. It is commonly used and more specifically in the case of patients who have active orthodontic treatments, or for patients with an important amount of stubborn stains on the surface of the teeth (smoker, consumer of red wine, tea and coffee).

How often should I do dental cleaning

The frequency of appointments needed will vary from person to person. Some patients will accumulate more tartar than others and will therefore require more preventive care.

Although generally dental hygiene appointments are twice a year (every 6 months), some people will visit us more often, such as every 3 or 4 months if necessary. This way, we keep good control over the amount of tartar that forms on the teeth while preventing it from accumulating under the gum and causing problems such as periodontitis or gingival recessions. Your dental hygienist will follow up on your prevention plan and determine with you the frequency of cleaning that is best suited to your needs.

Take care of your dental health and make an appointment with us for a cleaning