While at-home care keeps your teeth healthy and strong, a dental cleaning by our dentist or dental hygienist can supplement your smile’s health. Every six months, you should visit our practice to have your teeth cleaned and to remove excessive amounts of plaque buildup. When plaque is left untreated, it can lead to unhealthy gums and tooth decay. Instead, our Dr. Joseph Szymczak, will use a routine dental cleaning that includes scaling, root planing and polishing your teeth to prevent significant dental problems.


Dental hygienists traditionally perform scaling by hand, which is the process of removing plaque and tartar from all of the tooth surfaces. However, new and advanced technology has led to more modern methods such as electric scalers that allow dental cleanings to be performed in less time.

Root Planing

Root planing is the process of cleaning pockets in the gums to treat and prevent the progression of gum disease. When your gums become inflamed, gum pockets become deeper and can lose the connection that holds the gum to the bone. Deeper pockets make it easier for plaque deposits to become trapped and cause further issues, so a member of our team will use a scaler to clean the plaque deposits from below the gum line.


The last step in a routine teeth cleaning involves finishing the surface of the teeth to make them shiny and clean. There are two kinds of polishing: air polishing and rubber cup polishing. Air polishing utilizes a high-pressured stream of water mixed with baking soda paste to wash away residue and plaque while baking soda removes stains. Rubber cup polishing uses a gentle handpiece and a specialized polishing paste that is ideal for removing stains.

To schedule an appointment for your next teeth cleaning in Grand Rapids, Michigan, we welcome you to contact MI Roots Family Dental today at 616-453-0002.