Teeth Cleaning in Bethesda

Dental cleaning appointments

A woman having her teeth cleanedTeeth cleaning at home is an essential aspect of good oral hygiene, but it is not enough. Professional teeth cleaning is necessary for continued dental health. During a dental cleaning at our office, we thoroughly clean your teeth and gums and check for signs of gingivitis, periodontal disease, and cavities.

Benefits of Professional Dental Cleaning

A professional dental cleaning, sometimes called dental prophylaxis, has many benefits, including:

  • Plaque removal. Tartar and plaque buildup, both above and below the gum line, can result in serious periodontal problems. An at-home brushing and flossing routine cannot remove all debris, bacteria, and deposits from gum pockets. The experienced eye of a dentist or dental hygienist using specialized dental equipment is needed to spot and remove potentially damaging buildup.
  • A brighter smile. Prophylaxis removes stains, yellowing, and discoloration that visually age you.
  • Fresher breath. Bad breath (or halitosis) usually results from rotting food debris trapped between the teeth or below the gum line. This can lead to infection or gangrene, causing bad breath. Professional teeth cleaning removes the debris and reduces or eliminates infection-causing bacteria.
  • Monitoring of teeth and gums. During a dental cleaning, your dentist or hygienist checks for signs of periodontal disease, cavities, infection, and oral cancer.

What to Expect During Teeth Cleaning

Dental prophylaxis begins with a medical history. Your dental hygienist will ask questions about your overall health and any concerns you have about your oral health. They will update your records, including any medications you are taking. Once your records are current, they will begin your treatment.

Dental Inspection

The dental hygienist examines your gums and probes the area with a special dental tool to measure the depth of your gum tissue to determine whether the gums are receding. If your gums have receded, pockets around the base of the teeth may accumulate bacteria and food debris. The hygienist will also inspect your teeth to check for damage, loosened teeth, cracks, chips, cavities, and other problems that will be brought to your dentist’s attention.


Dental cleaning uses specialized dental instruments to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth and beneath the gum line. Next, your teeth are polished with mildly abrasive toothpaste and a rotating electric toothbrush. This removes surface stains and polishes your teeth, removing any remaining tartar. Finally, your dental hygienist will floss between your teeth to ensure there is no plaque in areas that are difficult to reach. When your cleaning is completed, you can rinse your mouth with water. Depending on your oral health, we may also have you rinse your mouth with a fluoride solution to protect your teeth between visits.

How Often Should You Have Professional Teeth Cleaning?

Our hygienists perform dental cleaning in our office daily. We recommend having your teeth cleaned professionally every six months to keep your teeth and gums healthy and prevent gum disease. If you have periodontitis, prophylaxis every three to four months is preferable in conjunction with other treatments to halt the progression of gum disease.

If you have not had your teeth professionally cleaned in the last six months, contact us at Bethesda Office Phone Number 301-530-3600 to schedule an appointment.