Oral health has a large impact on our overall health so it is important that everyone should have a professional dental cleaning on a regular basis. Overtime, plaque and tartar (calculus), and stain build-up on our teeth and under our gums causing inflammation.  If left untreated this will lead to gum disease (gingivitis and periodontitis) and can cause health problems. The purpose of professional dental cleaning is to prevent, reduce, or eliminate an inflammatory response that affects every system of our bodies.  Treating inflammation may help to manage chronic inflammatory conditions like diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and respiratory disease. At Sherwood Dental, Kitchener dental office the cleaning is performed by our highly skilled Registered Dental Hygienists.

What can I expect at my dental cleaning appointment?

Each and every dental hygiene appointment at Sherwood Dental is specifically designed to meet your specific needs and therefore may vary slightly. However, these are some typical events that may happen.


After reviewing your medical and dental history a thorough examination of your teeth, gums and oral cavity will be performed. This can include taking intraoral photos and/or radiographs (x-rays) if prescribed by the dentist. A probing is typically a part of the examination (this is done to check the health of your gums and bone level around your teeth).


Scaling is the removal of calculus build-up. This is typically done with the use of an ultrasonic scaler and hand instruments (scalers).  The dental hygienist thoroughly removes all plaque and calculus build-up from the tooth’s surface and below the gumline.


Polishing is performed to remove stain from the surface of the teeth.  The prophy paste used is sometimes described as “gritty toothpaste” and it can vary in flavour.

Fluoride treatment

Fluoride treatment may be recommended as well.  Fluoride treatment helps to prevent cavities and to help to reduce tooth sensitivity. This can involve a special mouth rinse or a varnish that is painted on to the tooth surface.  Typically, you will be instructed not to eat or drink for at least 30 minutes after this treatment.

Oral health instructions

After the examination and “cleaning” are completed the dentist and hygienist will review and clarify all findings and give you recommended oral health instructions. This can include brushing and flossing techniques and any other care and treatment recommendations.

Are dental cleanings painful?

Most people will not experience any significant discomfort during dental cleaning.  However, for some, they can be a bit uncomfortable or even painful.  If this is the case, please make sure you let your dentist or hygienist know as they can propose ways of managing your discomfort.  Some people will benefit from having topical anesthetic gel applied to their gums or if needed local anesthetic (freezing).

How often should I have a dental cleaning?

The frequency of your dental cleaning should be based on your oral health, risk factors, and general health. Healthy individuals without gum disease may be recommended to have a dental cleaning every 6 to 9 months, while others may need one every 3 months. We will be glad to discuss our recommendations with you following your examination.

What can I expect after my dental cleaning appointment?

Most people will not have any issues after professional dental cleaning and will be able to proceed with their day in a normal fashion.  However, some may experience increased tooth sensitivity, sore/swollen gums, and a sore jaw.  Most of these are temporary and should resolve on their own. It is very important to follow any instructions give to you by your dentist and hygienist after your appointment.  Some recommendations may include warm salt-water rinse, antimicrobial mouth wash, desensitizing toothpaste, and sometimes over the counter medication to reduce pain/inflammation. If you do end up having any concerns it is best to contact your dental office.

Professional dental cleaning is a very important part of maintaining good oral and overall health. It is a crucial part of preventing and treating gum disease and reducing cavities as well as reducing an inflammatory response that affects our whole bodies.  If you need professional dental cleaning or have any questions or concerns, please contact Sherwood Dental in Kitchener. We are dedicated to creating beautiful healthy smiles.


DISCLAIMER: The advice offered is intended to be informational only and generic in nature. It is no way to offer a definitive diagnosis or specific treatment recommendations for your particular situation. Any advice provided is no substitute for proper evaluation and care by a qualified dentist.