Teeth Cleanings

The best way to maintain a healthy smile is to schedule dental cleanings every six months. While brushing and flossing your teeth at home is good for your oral health, you’ll need the help of one of our dentists in Cascade and Grand Haven to remove hardened plaque (tartar). If left untreated, plaque buildup can increase your risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Fortunately, our team can remove plaque from teeth before you experience oral health issues.

Benefits of Teeth Cleanings

Check for Obvious Oral Health Issues

First, our dental hygienist will examine your mouth for obvious signs of tooth decay, gum disease, or other oral health issues. If our hygienist finds a serious issue, they will pause the teeth cleaning to ask our dentist how to proceed.

Remove Plaque and Tartar

Next, we use a special dental tool called a scaler to gently scrape away plaque and tartar from your smile. If you notice our hygienist taking a longer time than usual on this step, this is a sign that you need to brush or floss more thoroughly.

Polish and Floss Teeth

Our hygienist uses a high-powered toothbrush and gritty toothpaste to polish your teeth. Once your teeth are polished, our hygienist will have you rinse. Next, our hygienist will expertly floss your teeth to remove any remaining dental plaque, toothpaste, or other debris.

Examine Teeth and Gums

The last step of your teeth cleaning is for our dentist to inspect your teeth and gums. Our dentist will also be able to answer any questions you might have about your oral health.

Teeth Cleaning FAQ

1. How often should I have my teeth professionally cleaned?
Our dentists recommend that you visit our office for a teeth cleaning every 6 months. This schedule allows our dentists to detect any possible dental issues that may arise and perform treatment in a timely manner. Professional teeth cleanings also remove hardened plaque (tartar) that isn’t always removed with regular oral care.
2. What can I expect during a teeth cleaning?
There are 4 main components of a teeth cleaning that you can expect every time.

  • Check for Obvious Oral Health Issues: our dental hygienist will check for obvious oral health issues like tooth decay or gum disease.
  • Remove Plaque and Tartar: A special dental tool called a scaler is used to gently scrape away plaque and tartar from teeth.
  • Polish and Floss Teeth: A high-powered brush and gritty toothpaste are used to polish your teeth. Once polished, our hygienist will instruct you to rinse. Flossing will then begin to remove any remaining dental plaque, tartar, or other debris.
  • Examine Teeth and Gums: One of our dentists will arrive to inspect your teeth and gums. Any questions or concerns you may have about your oral health can be addressed to our dentist at this time as well.

3. Will a teeth cleaning hurt?
No, a teeth cleaning should not be painful or cause discomfort. If at any point, you feel pain, please let our dental hygienist know.
4. What should I not do after a teeth cleaning?
Following your teeth cleaning, it is wise to avoid foods or drinks that are high in acid such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, pickles, fruit juice, and red wine. These consumables can be harsh on your mouth soon after a dental cleaning.
5. What can I do to keep my teeth clean in between check ups?
There are a few simple things you can do at home to keep your teeth and gums clean. To get rid of plaque on your own, make sure you are brushing your teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time and flossing daily.

Get Quality Dental Care

Our West Michigan family dentists provide quality dental care to patients of all ages. With five convenient West Michigan locations, we have the capability of handling all of your family's dental needs. Call MI Smiles Dental Grand Haven at (616) 842-1188, MI Smiles Dental Cascade at (616) 974-4990, MI Smiles Comstock Park at (616) 784-3515, MI Smiles Grand Rapids at (616) 942-2870, or MI Smiles Ionia at (616) 527-2220 today, or schedule your appointment online.