Dental Cleaning in Saratoga Springs, NY

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About Professional Dental Cleaning

Professional Dental Cleaning Most patients with relatively healthy gums receive a dental cleaning known as a prophylaxis or “prophy”. Your dental cleaning is typically performed by a highly trained, licensed expert in the field, known as a dental hygienist. A typical prophylaxis includes:

  1. Removal of Dental Plaque: Plaque is an adhesive biofilm that forms on the teeth from a combination of bacteria, food debris, and salivary proteins. This bacterial colony produces toxins that inflame the gums and initiate the periodontal disease process.
  2. Removal of Tartar: Tartar or Calculus is a mineralized dental plaque that is now adhered to the tooth and can not be removed with brushing or flossing. Special instruments are required to remove this mineralized material from the tooth, specifically below the gumline. If left untreated, the combination of inflammation and physical irritation will destroy the bone that supports the teeth.
  3. Polishing (Removal of stain): If, however, during your initial assessment your gums were determined to require special care, your dentist and dental hygienist may talk with you about a more thorough cleaning known as scaling and root planing. Scaling and root planing is also known as a deep cleaning, it is usually done in several appointments, often using anesthesia to numb the area for patient comfort. Scaling and root planing removes calculus deep along root surfaces that may be left untreated with a regular cleaning. Additionally, it helps to remove some of the infected and ulcerated tissue around the tooth for improved healing. Our hygienists are trained to recognize and treat these patients with advancing periodontal disease. All of our offices encourage the use of site-specific antibiotic therapy to help treat and manage localized areas of periodontal inflammation. The use of low-dose localized antibiotics often helps eliminate the need for more costly and invasive gum surgery.

What are the benefits of dental cleaning?

Saratoga Springs, NY individuals who obtain regular dental cleanings can anticipate several advantages following their procedure, such as:

  • Safegurading against disease like cavities or different issues before they worsen
  • Lessening of tartar and plaque accrual
  • Opportunity to choose fluoride treatment to strengthen and shield teeth
  • Enhancement of total dental health and aesthetic

Tooth Brushing

Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with an ADA-approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste. Electric toothbrushes are highly recommended. They are easy to use and can remove plaque efficiently. Simply place the bristles of the electric brush on your gums and teeth and allow the brush to do its job, several teeth at a time.

  1. Place the brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums and gently brush using small circular motions, ensuring that you always feel the bristles on the gums
  2. Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth
  3. Use the tip of the brush to clean the inside of the front teeth
  4. Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your mouth.


Should I Get a Dental Cleaning?

The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests patients have a professional cleaning two times each year. Children should have their first dental exam before they turn one and after that, Dr. Dodd can help you determine when your child is old enough for their next dental appointment. A professional cleaning may help you avoid cavities since plaque buildup, the biggest cause of tooth decay, is removed. A cleaning will also address stains and tartar on the teeth. If you would like to freshen your breath, brighten your smile, boost your health, and avoid spending money on more expensive treatments, schedule a professional cleaning at Saratoga Springs Family Dentistry.


A beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime is our ultimate goal when treating patients. Your personal home care plays an important role in achieving that goal. Your personal home care starts by eating balanced meals, reducing the number of snacks you eat, and correctly using the various dental aids that help control the plaque and bacteria that cause dental disease.


Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, but it also disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone. Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.

  1. Take 12-16 inches (30-40 cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5 cm) of floss between the hands.
  2. Using your thumb and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion.
  3. Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gum line. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.


It is important to rinse your mouth after brushing and after meals, if you are unable to brush. If you are using an over-the-counter product for rinsing, it’s a good idea to consult with your dentist or dental hygienist on its appropriateness for you. Use other dental aids as recommended by your dentist: Interdental brushes, rubber tip stimulators, tongue cleaners, irrigation devices, fluoride, medicated rinses, etc., can all play a role in good dental home care.

Dental Cleaning FAQ

Does getting a dental cleaning hurt?

No, it doesn't. Most people don't find a dental cleaning uncomfortable at all. For people with sensitive teeth, they may find a dental cleaning a little uncomfortable but not painful. Some may also experience minor tooth sensitivity after a dental cleaning, but it typically goes away in a day or two.

When should you have a dental cleaning?

In general, most people should have a regular dental cleaning every six months to maintain good oral health.

How long does it take to have your teeth cleaned?

Depending on how extensive your cleaning is, most dental cleanings can last about 45 – 60 minutes.

Does a dental cleaning hurt your teeth?

No, it doesn't. Tooth enamel is extremely strong and durable, and the cleaning paste used in a dental cleaning doesn't hurt it. In fact, regular dental cleanings are one of the best preventative measures you can take to protect your teeth and gums.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.