top of page

Regular Teeth Cleaning vs. Deep Cleaning: What's Best for Your Smile?

Are you confused about the difference between regular teeth cleaning (oral prophylaxis) and deep cleaning (deep scaling) at the dental clinic? You're not alone. It's common for people to mix up these two dental procedures. Knowing the difference is important, as is understanding when and how often you should undergo each treatment. In this blog post, we'll break down the key differences between regular teeth cleaning and deep cleaning, as well as provide some guidance on when it might be time to schedule a deep cleaning with your dentist.

Regular Teeth Cleaning: The Basics

Regular teeth cleaning, also known as prophylaxis, is a routine dental procedure that helps remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. This treatment is typically performed by a dental hygienist and involves a thorough examination of your teeth, gums, and other oral structures, followed by the removal of plaque and tartar using tools such as a scaler and a rotating brush. Regular teeth cleaning helps prevent cavities, gum disease, and bad breath; it is generally recommended that you have regular teeth cleaning every six months.

Deep Cleaning: A More Intensive Process

Deep cleaning, on the other hand, is a more intensive procedure that targets the areas beneath the gumline where plaque and tartar can accumulate. Also known as scaling and root planing, deep cleaning involves scraping away plaque and tartar from your tooth roots and smoothing the roots' surfaces to help your gums reattach. Deep cleaning is usually performed when a patient has signs of gum disease or periodontitis, such as bleeding gums, deep gum pockets, or bone loss.

When Do You Need a Deep Cleaning?

Your dentist will be able to tell you if you need a deep cleaning during a routine dental visit. They will conduct a thorough examination of your teeth and gums, and they may also use a periodontal probe to measure the depth of your gum pockets. If your gum pockets are deeper than 3-4 millimeters, it might be a sign of gum disease, and your dentist may recommend a deep cleaning. Other possible signs that you may need a deep cleaning include bleeding gums, persistent bad breath, or loose teeth.

The Benefits of Deep Cleaning

Deep cleaning can help treat and even reverse the early stages of gum disease, potentially preventing further damage to your teeth and gums. Since gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, the benefits of deep cleaning extend beyond maintaining a healthy mouth – it can also help preserve your smile. In addition to treating gum disease, deep cleaning can improve your overall oral health and support better breath.

How Often Should You Get a Deep Cleaning?

Unlike regular teeth cleaning, deep cleaning is not a routine procedure that you should undergo every six months. How often you need a deep cleaning will depend on the state of your gums and your dentist's recommendations. Some people may only need a deep cleaning once, while others may require more frequent or ongoing treatments. It's important to undergo regular dental checkups to ensure your dentist can catch any signs of gum disease before it progresses to more advanced stages.

When it comes to dental health, regular teeth cleaning and deep cleaning both play important roles in maintaining a healthy smile. Regular teeth cleaning is a routine procedure that should be performed every six months to prevent dental issues such as cavities and gum disease, while deep cleaning is a more intensive treatment reserved for patients with signs of gum disease. It's essential to visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings to ensure that any dental issues are identified and treated early. Understanding the difference between regular teeth cleaning and deep cleaning can help you take a proactive approach to your oral health and keep your smile looking its best.


bottom of page