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What happens during professional teeth cleanings?

what happens during professional teeth cleanings

Teeth cleanings are simple, harmless, and will leave you with minty fresh results. However, if you're new to teeth cleanings or it's been a while since your last appointment, you may have some questions and uncertainties.

Before you book your visit, we'll guide you through what to expect at your teeth cleaning appointment, demystifying the process and shedding light on the importance of this routine dental procedure.

A typical teeth cleaning consists of the following:

Here's the in-depth breakdown:

Dental exam

The first person you'll encounter in the exam room will likely be your dental hygienist. They'll start by examining your teeth and gums by inserting a small mirror in your mouth to check for visible signs of tooth decay, such as cavities or areas that appear discolored. Your hygienist will also analyze your gum health, looking for signs of inflammation or bleeding that could indicate gum disease.

Depending on your age or medical history, this first portion may also include an oral cancer screening, X-ray imaging, or a bite-alignment test. 

 If any major issues are detected, the hygienist and the dentist will further evaluate you.

Plaque and tartar removal

Next, the hygienist will remove all the plaque and tartar around your gum line and in between your teeth using a scaler—that's the slightly-hooked, pointy metal tool that scrapes away the plaque. The more buildup you have, the more they'll need to scrape a particular area.

Hate the scraping? Brushing and flossing prevent plaque from hardening into tartar that can only be removed at your dentist's office.

Toothpaste cleanse

After the plaque and tartar removal, the hygienist will brush your teeth with a high-powered electric toothbrush. This is an excellent way to deep clean and removes any leftover tartar from the scaler.

Professional flossing

Though it's usually the most dreaded part of a cleaning, it's best to have a professional flossing session during your visit. Hygienists can get in between your teeth and locate those trouble spots where your gums have the potential to bleed. It's also necessary to remove any leftover plaque or toothpaste.


The final step is to wash and rinse out your mouth to get rid of any remaining debris. To keep things efficient, the dental staff use a couple different tubes: one that emits water and one that sucks it back up.

 We encourage you to make regular oral checkups a priority in your dental plan to maintain a healthy smile. Book your next appointment with us online today!

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