Dental Cleaning San Francisco

Keeping your teeth clean is important for your oral health. Brushing and flossing at home are essential. Even with diligent home care, plaque and tartar can build up on your teeth and cause gum disease. Biofilm on the teeth start to accumulate after just three hours. This creates a “sticky” surface that bacteria can adhere to over time. Professional dental cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist can remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and help prevent oral issues in the future. 

Are you searching for teeth cleaning in San Francisco? We can help. At Young Dental SF Group, our talented hygienists use the latest tools and technology to clean your teeth quickly, comfortably, and thoroughly. You don’t need to feel anxious or nervous; we make the experience easy and relaxing so you can feel confident about your smile. Our office uses a Piezo ultrasonic cleaning device. This allows for gentle and effective cleaning of the teeth and gums. Other devices generate heat as the unit cleans. The Piezo technology does not generate this heat.  Due to this, we can decrease the amount of water needed for the efficient ultrasonic movements to do its job.

Don’t worry if it’s been a while since your last cleaning, we will take care of you and address your concerns. Contact us for your hygiene needs or if you have concerns about your oral health, call us at (415) 392-8611 to schedule an appointment for the best dental cleaning in San Francisco!

Benefits of Teeth Cleaning

A professional teeth cleaning has many benefits for your oral health, including: 

  • Removal of plaque and tartar: Plaque is a film of bacteria that forms on teeth. When plaque isn’t removed, it hardens and becomes tartar. Tartar cannot be removed by brushing alone. 
  • Prevention of gum disease: Gum disease is an infection of the gums that can damage the bone supporting your teeth. Regular dental cleanings can help prevent gum disease.
  • Fresher breath: Plaque and tartar can cause bad breath. A professional cleaning can remove the bacteria that cause bad breath.
  • Healthier teeth and gums: Professional teeth cleanings can help remove stains and tartar that can discolor your teeth and damage your gums.
  • Early detection of oral issues: Dental cleanings allow your dentist or hygienist to check for any oral health problems, such as cavities, gingivitis, or oral cancer.

What Is a Dental Cleaning?

A dental cleaning, also called prophylaxis, is a professional teeth cleaning performed by a dentist or dental hygienist. The main purpose of dental cleaning is to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and help prevent gum disease. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth and gums. If plaque is not removed, it can harden into tartar, which is much more difficult to remove. Tartar can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and other oral health problems. Periodontal disease has also been linked to cardiovascular disease, poor over all health and low birth weight in infants.  The bacteria that causes gum disease has been cultured on the heart, aorta and cardiovascular system system

Gum disease, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. Maintaining healthy teeth is important for your overall well-being.

The Dental Cleaning Procedure

Before the cleaning, a general dental exam will be performed to check for any oral issues. Then, the teeth will be cleaned to remove plaque and tartar. If deeper cleaning is required, some scaling will be performed. In our office, scaling is usually done with a Piezo ultrasonic scaler, which uses high-frequency vibrations to break up and remove tartar below the gum-line. This is a gentle procedure, but if you feel any discomfort, please let your provider know. If it has been a while since your last cleaning, doing flossing twice a day a couple weeks before the cleaning will help the visit.

After the teeth have been cleaned, they will be polished with a special toothpaste to remove any leftover plaque and tartar. The polishing will leave your teeth feeling smooth and looking shiny. Finally, a fluoride treatment may be applied in the form of a gel or foam to your teeth. Fluoride is important for the prevention of tooth decay and is effective in children and adults and especially important for patients with a history of tooth decay.

Deep Scaling Procedures

During a routine dental cleaning the ultrasonic devices or hand scalers will clean above the gum line and 1-2 mm below the gum line.  At times plaque and bacteria can grow 4mm to over 7mm below the gum line.  To clean these areas a deep scaling and root planning procedure will be done.  This typically utilizes local anesthesia with a topical anesthetic to allow for the procedure to clean deep below the gum line while providing comfort to the patient.

During this procedure a debridement can, be done with an antibacterial rinse.  Many times, our office will also use a low-level intensity diode laser.  This allows for destruction of harmful bacterial and promotes re-attachment of the periodontal structures.  When used in this manner the laser is not painful and can even be used without a local anesthetic.

After the Procedure

After your dental cleaning, you should brush and floss your teeth as usual. Your teeth may be sensitive for a few days after the cleaning, but this should go away within a week. You may also be advised to use a special toothpaste or a mouth rinse to help with sensitivity.

Dental Cleaning Frequency

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that patients have a professional dental cleaning every six months. However, some patients may need to be seen more frequently depending on their oral health. For example, patients with gum disease may need to be seen every three to four months for deep cleanings. 

Caring for Your Teeth Between Cleanings

You can help prevent plaque and tartar buildup by brushing and flossing your teeth daily. 

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste. Direct the brush to where the gums and teeth meet. Use gentle circular motions. Take your time and brush for at least two minutes.
  • Floss at least once a day. 
  • If possible, brush your teeth after every meal.
  • Consider using an antibacterial mouth rinse to help control plaque and tartar buildup.
  • Replace your toothbrush often. 
  • We recommend the use of a mechanical tooth brush. Our preference is the Phillips Sonicare brush. This will remove more plaque and bacteria compared to a manual tooth brush. It’s pulsating brushes irrigate fluid between the teeth to promote oral health.  These come in kids, adults, sensitive teeth care, whitening level and gentle cleaning.

If you have any questions about oral care, please ask your dentist or hygienist. They will be happy to answer any of your questions.

Teeth Cleaning in San Francisco

If you’re looking for professional teeth cleaning in the San Francisco area, please call (415) 392-8611 or complete the online booking form to schedule an appointment. Our experienced and friendly staff will be happy to help you with all of your dental needs. 

If you suffer from dental anxiety, we also offer various sedation options to help you relax during your appointment. We look forward to meeting you and helping you achieve and maintain good oral health! For the best dentists in San Francisco, come see us at Young Dental SF Group or our partner practice, Post Street Dental. We are located 490 Post Street, Suite 830, San Francisco, CA.


Do dental cleanings hurt?

No, dental cleanings are not painful. You may feel some pressure when the teeth are being scaled or polished, but this is usually not painful.

How long after teeth cleaning can I eat?

If the dental provider places fluoride on your teeth after a cleaning, you should wait 30 minutes.  It takes 30 minutes for fluoride to set in.  This is the protocol in the office and also for over-the-counter fluoride rinses.

How long does a dental cleaning take?

A dental cleaning usually takes about 30 to 40 minutes. Usually during or after the dental cleaning there will be an exam. A deep clean may take 1-2 hours. A deep clean may take 1-2 hours.

What is the difference between a regular cleaning and a deep cleaning?

A regular cleaning is a routine cleaning to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth. A deep cleaning is usually done for patients with gum disease. It involves removing plaque and tartar from below the gum line.

Can you get your teeth cleaned with braces?

Yes, you can get your teeth cleaned with braces. The hygienist will use special instruments to clean around the brackets and wires.

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