Teeth Cleaning For Adults and Children in Erie, PA

While the foundation of dental hygiene is your at-home dental care routine, it's just as important to visit the dentist regularly to make sure your teeth are healthy and your smile is bright. The main goal of regular teeth cleanings performed by a professional dental hygienist is to prevent gum disease and tooth decay which could ultimately lead to the removal of the tooth.

smiling couple

Why Have Your Teeth Professionally Cleaned?

There are several good reasons why you should have your teeth professionally cleaned every six months, even if you maintain a meticulous dental hygiene regimen at home. 

  1. Dentists and dental hygienists have the tools and expertise to monitor for issues you might not necessarily be able to see or feel.

  2. Professional dental cleaning instruments are the only thing powerful enough to remove hardened dental plaque, aka calculus or tartar. 

  3. Professional cleaning can make your smile appear whiter and brighter, helping to remove stains, plaque, and tartar. 

  4. It can save you time, money, and suffering down the road — cleanings prevent small problems from becoming major issues, sparing you time in the dentist’s chair undergoing costly procedures.

Teeth Cleaning Procedures

It’s important to set kids up for optimal oral health throughout their growth and development, which is a primary focus of pediatric dentistry and aided by regular teeth cleanings. As we get older as adults, it’s imperative we treat our teeth with extra special attention and care so that we can enjoy life to the fullest. 

A typical teeth cleaning takes 30-60 minutes and consists of: 

  • Oral health exam (may include x-rays)
  • Removal of tartar and plaque buildup
  • Teeth polishing

Dental anesthesia is also available to patients who have a fear of dentists or simply need extra relaxation during procedures. At Sleep Dentistry Erie, we are committed to helping our patients — with or without insurance — achieve their healthiest smiles.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How frequently should I have my teeth cleaned?

You should have your teeth cleaned at least once a year for healthy adults, although a routine dental cleaning and examination every six months is preferable. If you have a chronic medical condition (such as diabetes), take medication (especially those that contribute to xerostomia, or dry mouth), wear braces, are prone to poor dietary (sugary or high-carb snacks between meals) or lifestyle habits (smoking), or simply have a mouth that is smaller and more difficult to clean, it is recommended you get checked up on more regularly.

Should I still get my teeth professionally cleaned even if I regularly brush and floss at home?

Yes, you should still get your teeth professionally cleaned. Even with regular brushing and flossing — and good technique with both — the vast majority of people fail to clear away all the plaque that builds up on and between teeth. Once that hardens into dental calculus or tartar, no amount of brushing or flossing can remove it. Only the specialized tools and equipment of a dental hygienist can loosen, rinse, and suction it away.

Why are my teeth so sensitive after a teeth cleaning?

One reason your teeth are so sensitive after a teeth cleaning is dental cleaning tools making contact with gum surfaces, especially puffy or swollen gums, leading to sensitivity or bleeding. Once teeth have been properly scaled of calculus/tartar, tooth structure that may have not been exposed in “many moons” will be experiencing sensation directly for the first time in a while, it will need time to adjust. Exposed tooth roots near the gumline are especially susceptible to sensitivity. 

How soon can I eat and drink again after having my teeth cleaned?

You can eat and drink immediately after having your teeth cleaned, unless you’ve received a fluoride treatment, which needs at least half an hour to settle and seal around your teeth to maximize its enamel-fortifying benefits. Nonetheless, take care with what you eat or drink after a professional dental cleaning, as your teeth will likely be sensitive to hot, cold, spicy, crunchy, or acidic foods. If you’re thirsty, drink water. If you’re hungry, opt for soft foods served near room temperature.

Will routine dental cleanings whiten my teeth?

Whiter teeth are an ancillary benefit of a routine dental cleaning, but not its goal — for that you may want to invest in our Lifetime Whitening Program.  Nonetheless, after we’re done buffering away tartar (which may take on a yellowish or greenish tinge) and polishing your teeth, they may very well look whiter and brighter than when you walked in!

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