Learning about the Different Types of Dental Cleanings

Dental cleaning is essential for maintaining optimal oral health. Regular dental cleanings help prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. There are different types of dental cleanings, each with a specific purpose. In this article, we will explore the different types of dental cleanings.

1. Prophylaxis Cleaning 

Prophylaxis cleaning is the most common type of dental cleaning. It is a routine procedure performed every six months to maintain good oral health. This type of dental cleaning removes plaque, tartar, and stains from the teeth. It is a painless procedure that takes about 30 minutes to complete.

During the prophylaxis cleaning, the dental hygienist will use a hand-held scaler to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth. They will also use a polishing tool to remove any stains on the teeth. The polishing tool uses a special paste that helps remove surface stains and polish the teeth.

2. Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical, deep cleaning procedure that removes the plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums and is used to treat gum disease. Gum disease occurs when plaque and tartar build up on the teeth and gums and cause inflammation and infection in the gums.

During scaling and root planing, the dental hygienist will use a hand-held scaler to remove the plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums. They will also smooth out any rough spots on the roots of the teeth to prevent bacteria from accumulating in the future. This procedure may take several appointments to complete, depending on the severity of the gum disease.

3. Periodontal Maintenance

Periodontal maintenance is a dental cleaning procedure performed to maintain the health of the gums after scaling and root planing. It is typically done every three months to prevent the return of gum disease.

During periodontal maintenance, the dental hygienist will remove any plaque and tartar that has accumulated since the last cleaning. They will also check the pockets around the teeth to ensure they are healthy. If the pockets are deep or inflamed, further treatment may be necessary.

4. Full Mouth Debridement

Full mouth debridement is performed when there is significant plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth. It is usually done before a comprehensive oral exam or other dental procedures.

During full mouth debridement, a hand-held scaler will be used to remove the plaque and tartar from the teeth. This procedure may take longer than a prophylaxis cleaning and require local anesthesia.

5. Air Abrasion Cleaning

Air abrasion cleaning combines air and abrasive particles to remove surface stains from the teeth. It is a painless and non-invasive procedure often used to remove stains from teeth that cannot be removed with a prophylaxis cleaning.

During air abrasion cleaning, the dental hygienist will use a hand-held device that directs a stream of air and abrasive particles onto the teeth. The abrasive particles remove surface stains from the teeth without damaging the enamel.


Regular dental cleanings are essential for maintaining good oral health. There are different types of dental cleanings that are used to treat and prevent various oral health issues. If you have any questions about different dental cleanings, consult your dental hygienist or dentist. They can recommend the best cleaning procedure for your specific oral health needs.

Turn to Family Dental of Westborough for top-notch dental cleaning in Westborough, MA. Our dental team is highly skilled and experienced and strives to provide the highest quality dental care for all our patients. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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