Do I Really Need To Go for a Teeth Cleaning?

Reviewed by Dr. Matthew Young, DDS

“I brush and floss my teeth twice a day. Do I really need to go for a teeth cleaning?” The answer is a resounding YES!

Regular teeth cleanings are essential for maintaining good oral health and preventing serious dental issues down the road.

You might confuse regular teeth cleaning with dental deep cleaning. Check out one of our previous blogs: What Is a Dental Deep Cleaning? Scaling and Root Planing Explained.

In this blog, we will explore how preventative dentistry, such as regular teeth cleaning, can be a wise financial decision in the long run.

Table of Contents

The Role of Dental Cleanings

  • Prevents gum diseases: Routine teeth cleaning by a dental hygienist can prevent the onset of gum diseases by removing dental plaque and tartar that regular brushing and flossing might miss.
  • Reduces the risk of cavities: Plaque turns into tartar, which can erode tooth enamel. Regular dental cleanings remove plaque and tartar, significantly reducing your risk of cavities.
  • Freshens your breath: Persistent bad breath can be a sign of underlying oral health issues. Regular dental cleanings can freshen your breath by addressing these hygiene concerns.
  • Detects early signs of dental issues: During a dental cleaning, your dentist will also perform an exam, which can detect early signs of problems like tooth decay, gum disease, and even oral cancer.

What Happens During a Teeth Cleaning?

  1. Examination: Your dental visit starts with an examination of your entire mouth.
  2. Removing plaque and tartar: Using special tools like an ultrasonic scaler or dental scaler, the hygienist will gently remove plaque and tartar buildup from the tooth surface and near the gum line.
  3. Deep cleaning: If there’s significant plaque and tartar buildup, a deep cleaning including scaling and root planing may be recommended to clean the tooth roots and gum pockets.
  4. Fluoride treatment: Finally, a fluoride treatment may be applied to help strengthen the teeth and protect against cavities.

How Often Should You Get Your Teeth Cleaned?

The American Dental Association recommends that you visit your dentist for regular checkups and professional teeth cleanings at least once every six months.

However, certain individuals might need to have more frequent visits.

Who May Need Teeth Cleanings More Often?

  • Smokers: Smoking increases the risk of gum disease, so smokers may need more frequent dental cleanings.
  • Pregnant women: Hormonal changes during pregnancy can increase the risk of developing gum disease, making regular teeth cleanings essential.
  • Diabetics: Diabetes can affect oral health and increase the risk of gum disease. Individuals with diabetes may require more frequent dental cleanings.

Cost and Insurance

Some people question the need for regular teeth cleaning due to cost concerns. However, investing in preventative dentistry can save you money in the long run by avoiding expensive dental procedures that may result from neglecting your oral health.

Many insurance plans cover teeth cleanings as part of routine preventive care. Be sure to check with your dental insurance provider to see what is covered under your plan.


Routine cleanings are an essential part of dental hygiene, helping to maintain healthy teeth and gums, prevent oral health issues, and even boost your overall health.

Remember, a beautiful smile starts with healthy teeth and gums. By ensuring regular cleanings, you’re not just taking steps to prevent bad breath, tooth loss, and gum diseases; you’re also preserving your smile for years to come.

Trust Us With Your Smile😁

Your teeth play a vital role in your daily life. They allow you to eat, speak, and smile with confidence. That’s why it’s important to care for them and keep them clean. Don’t wait for dental issues to arise. 

At Post Street Dental Group, we offer comprehensive dental services, including regular teeth cleanings, to help you maintain a healthy mouth and beautiful smile. Our experienced dentists use the latest techniques and technology to provide gentle yet effective dental cleanings.

If you are searching for “teeth cleaning in San Francisco, CA” or “teeth cleaning near me” we can help! Call (415) 986-4534 today to book an appointment or complete the online booking form.

FAQs about Regular Teeth Cleaning

What is the difference between regular teeth cleaning and dental deep cleaning?

Regular teeth cleaning, also known as prophylaxis, primarily focuses on the surfaces of the teeth and the gum line to remove plaque and tartar — preventing cavities and gum diseases. Dental deep cleaning, which includes scaling and root planing, is a more intensive procedure aimed at treating established periodontal disease by cleaning the roots of the teeth and below the gum line.

How long does a teeth cleaning appointment usually take?

A standard teeth cleaning appointment lasts between 30 minutes to an hour, depending on your oral health status and the amount of plaque and tartar buildup. If it’s your first visit or if a more in-depth examination is required, it may take longer.

Can teeth cleaning damage enamel?

No, when performed by a professional dental hygienist or dentist, teeth cleaning does not damage the enamel. These professionals use specialized tools and techniques to safely remove plaque and tartar without harming the teeth.

Is teeth cleaning painful?

Teeth cleaning is generally not painful, but some people may experience discomfort, especially if there is significant tartar buildup or sensitive gums. Discuss any concerns or discomfort with your dental provider, as they can adjust their techniques or offer solutions like local anesthesia.

Do I still need regular teeth cleanings if I have dentures or dental implants?

Yes, maintaining oral hygiene is crucial even if you have dentures or dental implants. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings ensure the longevity of your dental appliances and monitor your overall oral health.

Post Street Dental Group

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