Preventative Care

Preventative dental care is crucial for maintaining optimal oral health & preventing serious dental issues down the line.

Mom and son smilingRegular teeth cleanings remove plaque & tartar buildup, reducing the risk of issues like cavities & gum disease. Additionally, dental sealants provide an extra layer of protection by sealing off the grooves and crevices of teeth, making them less susceptible to decay. Taking these preventative measures preserve your smile’s beauty & save you time, money & potential discomfort in the long run.

Teeth Cleanings

Having your teeth professionally cleaned is about more than a bright & shiny smile. Getting your teeth cleaned at the dentist on a regular basis may be the most important way we help you maintain your teeth & prevent oral health problems. The frequency of your visits to Holladay Dental Excellence is based upon your needs & oral health.

At your cleaning appointment, we can also give you tips on your at-home oral care routine, your diet & anything about your smile that you may be concerned or have questions about.

Plus, there’s nothing like that smooth, fresh feeling you get after your cleaning!

What Is A Teeth Cleaning?

A professional cleaning at our office is the only way to remove the stuck-on plaque & tartar that is left behind even after you brush.

In addition to flossing & brushing two times a day (for two whole minutes), visiting us at least twice a year for your teeth cleaning helps us catch & prevent common tooth problems, such as tooth decay (cavities) & gum disease. When oral health problems are caught early, they are easier & less expensive to treat & are less likely to cause you trouble in the future.

Procedure Overview

The order & details of what happens during your teeth cleaning appointment depends on your individual situation, but usually follows this general order:

  • The hygienist or dentist will remove tartar & plaque from your teeth by scraping them gently with a scaler or “dental pick”. A scaler can do what your toothbrush can’t: when plaque stays on your teeth too long it can turn into a hardened calculus called tartar. A scaler in the skilled hands of a dentist or hygienist is the only way to remove this tough debris. For particularly tough or larger amounts of tartar, we may use an ultrasonic scaler. This tool uses ultrasonic waves to help break up calculus, making it easier to remove quickly & with less scraping.
  • Next, we will use a special polisher & paste to remove stains & smooth the surfaces of your teeth. The polisher uses a small rubber cup that spins as it applies a mildly abrasive paste that is similar to regular toothpaste but a little thicker.
  • Throughout the teeth cleaning process, we will occasionally rinse your teeth with a small jet of water & suction the excess water & saliva away. This clears away plaque, tartar & polishing paste. If we need to get a better look at a certain tooth, we may also dry it out using a few quick puffs of air. This makes seeing buildup & surface irregularities easier.
  • As a final step, we will floss your teeth using standard dental floss to remove any polishing paste that may be left behind. Once your teeth are nice & clean, we’ll typically move on to an examination, in which we’ll look at your teeth, gums, tongue & the rest of your mouth.


Sealants are highly effective in preventing tooth decay on the biting surfaces of chewing teeth. These surfaces have natural pits & grooves, which can become filled with food particles & bacteria that can be difficult to remove with a toothbrush.

Though all teeth are covered in enamel, the natural protective coating, the bacteria that gets stuck in deep pits & grooves can eat away at it & the tooth virtually unimpeded. This leads to cavities that might require costly and potentially painful restorative work.

Anyone can get a sealant, but they are most commonly recommended for children as their adult teeth start to replace their primary teeth. Having that extra protection from the beginning can keep children cavity-free through their school years. This means families can save money by preventing costly restorative work, & the children can focus on school without getting distracted by toothaches & dental appointments.

What Is A Dental Sealant?

A sealant is a simple procedure in which we place a clear or tooth-colored acrylic “coating” onto the surface of the tooth. This effectively “seals” the deep grooves where decay is most likely to begin. At less than half the cost of conventional fillings & without any anesthetics or drilling, sealants are one of the most important preventive tools we offer.

Sealants can last for several years, & studies have shown that the chance of getting a cavity on a sealed tooth is cut in half in the first five years after the procedure. But sometimes sealants do wear out, get chipped, or fall out, so we make sure to check it at every cleaning appointment. If a sealant does get damaged or fall out, we might recommend a new sealant, but we’d be happy to talk to you about the most appropriate course of action.

Procedure Overview

  • Placing a sealant is a painless & relatively quick process. Applied most often to molars, dentists first thoroughly clean the tooth’s biting surface, making sure to get into the grooves. Then, they might roughen up the surface of the tooth to better hold the sealant material. After a quick rinse, when the tooth is completely dry, your dentist will place the sealant. Finally, all that’s left is to dry it—& it’s done
  • In some cases of extreme risk, we may recommend applying a sealant to a child’s primary tooth. Though they are temporary, primary teeth help guide adult teeth into their proper places. Extreme tooth decay that results in premature loss or extraction of teeth in children can cause misalignment as their other teeth may move to fill those gaps. This can confuse adult teeth as they try to grow into place because there might not be a clear path for them to grow into. Sealants on those at-risk primary teeth aim to support long-term dental health, starting with a smooth transition to healthy adult teeth.

Combined with regular cleanings, diligent at-home hygiene routines & consistent fluoride usage, sealants are an important tool in keeping teeth healthy & cavity-free.

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