We all know you should come to the dentist for a cleaning at least every 6 months to maintain your oral health (and to maintain a smile that you’re proud to show off!).

Teeth cleanings are a normal part of oral hygiene. They involve the removal of plaque from the tooth surface (that is too tough to get with your toothbrush or floss) and prevent future cavities, gingivitis, and periodontal disease. These appointments are generally covered by your dental insurance and should be set up to reoccur every 6 months at least depending on your oral health. Did you know that there are actually three different types of dental cleanings? Your dental hygienist and dentist will help you decide which one you need and how often. 

The 3 Different Types of Dental Cleanings


The most common dental cleanings are referred to as “regular cleanings” or “normal cleanings” (or “prophylaxis” if you want to get technical) and are performed by your dental hygienist every six months during your routine dental check-ups. Even if you brush and floss your teeth as you should, you still need professional cleanings because they are the only way to remove the plaque and tartar buildup that toothbrushes simply can’t. Regular professional cleanings will ensure that your mouth, teeth, and gums stay healthy and strong while preventing cavities and other dental issues from forming in the future.


Periodontal Maintenance is very similar to normal cleanings, with an emphasis on stopping or preventing periodontal disease. Periodontitis is a gum infection that is fairly common, but preventable with regular cleanings! A Periodontal Maintenance Cleaning is a deep cleaning that will remove tartar and plaque (just like a regular cleaning) but also includes scaling and root planing between the teeth and gums. During this cleaning, your dentist will examine/measure the pockets of your gums to look for inflammation to prevent future infection, discomfort, and disease.

The 3 Different Types of Dental Cleanings


A Full Mouth Debridement (FMD) goes a step further than the average deep cleaning and is generally only prescribed when a patient has not had a regular cleaning for several years, causing a severe amount of plaque and buildup between the teeth and gums. A Full Mouth Debridement is a nonsurgical procedure carried out by your dentist to remove the plaque and tartar that has begun to imbed itself into the teeth and gums that has caused so much inflammation that it actually prevents a regular cleaning or exam. It is our hope that most patients will never need a Full Mouth Debridement – but if you do, we will get you on a schedule for regular cleanings and back to optimal oral health in no time!

No matter which type of dental cleaning you need, at Ora Dental, this is one appointment you won’t want to miss. From the moment you walk through our doors, you’ll be invited to relax with a warm eucalyptus towel, noise-canceling headphones, and full control of our all-inclusive entertainment system. It’s our hope to create an environment that is so relaxing, you won’t even notice your teeth are being cleaned. With our state-of-the-art equipment, we can accurately diagnose and assess your entire mouth to effectively and efficiently get you in and out of the dental chair – and back to living your day to the fullest.