Dental cleanings are designed to preserve your teeth and prevent or slow the progression of tooth decay. They are considered a general prophylaxis in preventive dentistry. Professional cleanings are usually performed by a dental hygienist in the dental office. Dr. Steinberg has two registered dental hygienists that regularly perform dental cleanings. During a routine dental cleaning, the surfaces of teeth are thoroughly cleaned and polished, removing plaque and tarter. A fluoride treatment may be used during a cleaning to help strengthen tooth enamel and prevent decay. Dental cleanings often make your teeth look healthier and feel better.