Dental cleaning, also called scaling and polishing is a preventative procedure performed by dentists or dental hygienists to maintain or achieve optimum oral health. In a dental cleaning procedure, the dentist aims to remove the dental plaque and tartar that have accumulated on the teeth to protect them from cavities or dental caries as well as other tooth and gum problems.
While teeth cleaning can be done at home using a toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss, each person still needs a deeper, more thorough cleaning that only a dentist can provide. This is because regular brushing and flossing cannot completely remove plaque and tartar that tend to stick to the surface of the teeth.
As a dentist, my patients often ask me how regularly they should get their teeth cleaned. My response is usually: “That depends”.
Most private health insurance schemes cover a dental check-up and clean once every six months. But there’s no hard and fast evidence, particularly if you’re a healthy person who is less likely to get a cavity or gum disease.
However, some people are at higher risk of getting dental cavities or gum disease – and this group should get their teeth cleaned more often.