By Last Updated: March 1, 2024

Dental Cleaning is one of the preventive dental treatments that can greatly impact your oral health. It removes plaque and eliminates bacteria to prevent dental problems such as tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease.

But aside from keeping your mouth squeaky clean, does dental cleaning also whiten your teeth? You’d be surprised to know that yes, it somehow does!

Carry on reading to know how dental cleaning can help brighten your pearly whites as well as other teeth whitening options you can consider to maintain a sparkly smile.

Understanding Dental Cleaning

Professional dental cleaning is a routine dental procedure that should be done every 6 months or twice a year. It can be performed by your dental hygienist or dentist.

Here’s how an appointment for dental cleaning usually goes:

  • Thorough dental examination

First, your dentist will examine your teeth and gums. They will check for plaque and tartar build-up so they know where to focus cleaning. This is also a good time to identify budding dental diseases so your dentist can act on them before they get worse. Signs of decay, cavities, and gum disease are noted for treatment.

  • Disclosing tablets

Then, you will be asked to chew on disclosing tablets or your dentist will place a solution on your teeth to make plaque more visible. This gives your dentist a good idea of your oral health status.

  • Scaling

Using a high-frequency scaler, plaque and tartar from all tooth surfaces are removed. This also includes underneath your gumline where bacteria can cause periodontal disease. If needed, some numbing cream is placed to improve your comfort during the procedure.

  • Polishing

After scaling, a special electric brush and gritty toothpaste are used to target residual yellowish plaque and remove surface stains. This is where dental cleaning can promote some level of teeth whitening. After polishing, your teeth should look extra clean and sparkly.

  • Fluoride treatment

Lastly, you will receive fluoride treatment to make your teeth less susceptible to acid attacks that may cause tooth decay and cavities.

Benefits of Regular Dental Cleaning

Routine dental cleaning can do wonders for your oral health and smile, such as:

  • Brightens your smile

Dental cleaning is one of the ways you can whiten your teeth instantly. Scaling and polishing done during teeth cleaning scrapes off yellowish plaque and other surface stains from the food and drinks you consume.

  • Detects dental diseases early

During dental cleaning, your dentist is also able to evaluate your oral health. The earlier dental problems such as tooth decay are detected, the earlier we can provide treatment. This saves you from expensive and invasive procedures down the road.

  • Prevents gum disease and tooth loss

Plaque build-up is the main culprit of gum disease. Bacteria from plaque irritates the gums, causing it to swell and bleed. Left untreated, this will infect the jawbone and eventually lead to tooth loss. Routine dental cleaning is the key to avoiding these problems.

  • Eliminates bad breath

Bacteria from plaque, tartar, and other food debris can accumulate to cause foul breath smells. Avoid this problem with regular dental cleaning to rid of bacteria causing dental issues.

  • Enhances overall oral health

Dental cleaning is a no-fuss procedure that you can do just twice a year to help boost your oral health. If you have serious dental problems, your dentist may ask you to visit more frequently. But generally, it is an affordable way to keep your smile healthy and happy.

Teeth Stains and Discolourations

Now let’s take a closer look at teeth stains… There are two types of teeth staining:

Intrinsic stains are those that originate from within the tooth. This type of stain can be caused by several things including tooth injury, excessive fluoride, medical conditions, genetics, and medications. These stains can be yellow, brown, gray, or white.

Meanwhile, extrinsic stains are a type of discolouration that only involves the surface layer of the tooth. This can be from what you eat or drink or due to plaque. Extrinsic stains are usually yellow or brown.

Some extrinsic stains, especially those caused by plaque, can be removed with professional dental cleaning. But for deeper and stubborn stains, you may need to explore other options to cover or remove them. This includes laser teeth whitening, dental bonding, or veneers.

Teeth Whitening vs Dental Cleaning

Dental cleaning effectively whitens teeth by scraping off plaque that can cause yellow discolouration. This is done with an ultrasonic scaler that vibrates against the teeth to eliminate plaque and tartar.

But if you want deeper teeth bleaching to achieve a pearly white smile, teeth cleaning is what you need.

Teeth whitening uses active bleaching ingredients such as peroxides to whiten the teeth. Most whitening systems contain safe concentrations of 3% – 40% peroxide depending on how it will be used.

Nowadays, there are many whitening toothpastes, strips, and gels that are easily accessible in your local drugstore. But, if you want more dramatic results, professional teeth whitening through laser technology is the top choice.

Professional Teeth Whitening Options

There are two types of professional teeth whitening. One option can be done at home using customized whitening trays or professional laser whitening that is done at the dental office.

At-Home Whitening Trays

Your dentist can prescribe custom whitening trays if you want to do your whitening in the comfort of your home. Each whitening kit contains the bleaching gel or paste and some trays that are custom-fitted to your teeth. You are to wear the tray filled with whiteners for a few hours every day or as instructed.

Usually, whitening trays can be done for up to 4 weeks. If you want to whiten your teeth further, you may top up with more whitening products.

In-Office Teeth Whitening

Professional laser teeth whitening is a highly effective, safe, and long-lasting treatment. It can lighten your teeth up to 8 shades in just an hour. To do this, your dentist will paint the bleaching agent on the front surface of your teeth. Then, a laser light is used to activate the whitening ingredient. This also helps to accelerate and enhance the results.

With good upkeep and oral hygiene, the results of In-Office Teeth Whitening can last up to a year. Other patients also opt to use whitening trays afterward to maintain their white smile.

Want to know more about dental cleaning and teeth whitening? Call us today at Springbank Hill Dental to learn about the best option to brighten your smile!