dental cleaning

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Super Saiyan

Senior Member
Cantonese
Hi, let's say I want to tell others that I'm going to see a dentist and what I am going to do there.

A: "I am going to have a dental cleaning." or "I am going to have a teeth cleaning." Which one is natural? "have" is the right verb?

Or we can only say "I am going to have my teeth cleaned by a dentist?" Thanks.
 
  • boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    I would only say 'going to have my teeth cleaned' and, if I needed to specify, I would say I would have the plaque removed...
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    "I am going to have a dental cleaning." or "I am going to have a teeth cleaning."
    I would say one of those. I could also call it a "tooth cleaning". This is a standard procedure, which you schedule an appointment for. Usually it is performed by a dental hygienist (a trained dental assistant), not by the dentist.

    I could say "have my teeth cleaned", but that is less likely. I clean them every day when I brush them. The standard procedure involves "deep cleaning" and "plaque scaling" and "polishing" and evaluating your gums. It is not just "cleaning" the teeth.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    This is very interesting, Doji. Where I live this standard procedure is performed by the dentist and I do not think we have 'dental hygienists', although it makes sense to have someone else do the cleaning and let the dentist focus on actual treatment (which does not involve sledge hammers and pickaxes, as cleaning might :D )
     

    Super Saiyan

    Senior Member
    Cantonese
    I would say one of those. I could also call it a "tooth cleaning". This is a standard procedure, which you schedule an appointment for. Usually it is performed by a dental hygienist (a trained dental assistant), not by the dentist.

    I could say "have my teeth cleaned", but that is less likely. I clean them every day when I brush them. The standard procedure involves "deep cleaning" and "plaque scaling" and "polishing" and evaluating your gums. It is not just "cleaning" the teeth.
    It’s exactly what I mean, deep cleaning, plaque scaling and polishing. Is it like an American way or BE way to use it differently. Like Americans would say ‘I am going to have a teeth cleaning/dental cleaning’ and BE would say ‘I am going to the dentist to have my teeth cleaned.’? I mean I want to be specific to let someone know what I do at the dentist office
     

    pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    The US is a big place, and phrasing can be different in different regions. I say “get my teeth cleaned,” but if someone asked me why I was going to the dentist, I would probably say, “just a cleaning.” I can’t think of a context where I would say “dental cleaning,” “teeth cleaning” or “tooth cleaning.”
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    It’s exactly what I mean, deep cleaning, plaque scaling and polishing. Is it like an American way or BE way to use it differently. Like Americans would say ‘I am going to have a teeth cleaning/dental cleaning’ and BE would say ‘I am going to the dentist to have my teeth cleaned.’? I mean I want to be specific to let someone know what I do at the dentist office
    At my (UK) dentist's it's a procedure known as having a "scale and polish", which involves removing all the plaque and then using a special brush to clean and literally polish the enamel surface of the teeth. It's usually carried out by a hygienist, but occasionally if a more thorough treatment is needed, the dentist will do it himself.
     

    Super Saiyan

    Senior Member
    Cantonese
    The US is a big place, and phrasing can be different in different regions. I say “get my teeth cleaned,” but if someone asked me why I was going to the dentist, I would probably say, “just a cleaning.” I can’t think of a context where I would say “dental cleaning,” “teeth cleaning” or “tooth cleaning.”
    Because I feel like if I just tell people "I am going to the dentist", the next question that people will ask is "Why are you going there?" or "what treatment are you going to have?", then I might as well tell people what I am going to do by saying "I am going to have a teeth cleaning" or "I am going to have a dental cleaning." I think this is my context and I wonder whether it's fine saying them.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Because I feel like if I just tell people "I am going to the dentist", the next question that people will ask is "Why are you going there?" or "what treatment are you going to have?", then I might as well tell people what I am going to do by saying "I am going to have a teeth cleaning" or "I am going to have a dental cleaning." I think this is my context and I wonder whether it's fine saying them.
    I don't think a BE speaker would use either of those. I'd expect to hear "I'm going to the dentist's for a scale and polish"
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    If you say you're going to the dentist for a cleaning, there's no need to add "dental" or "teeth". What else would they be cleaning at a dentist's office?
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I just made an appointment to have 'my teeth cleaned'.
    If I need to explain why I'm going to the dentist I say "Oh, just to have my teeth cleaned, nothing too awful!" I do know 'scale and polish'. If I remember, I'll ask the hygenist.
     
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