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What Happens During A Teeth Cleaning? Understanding the Basics

Overdue for a dentist appointment? Wondering what will happen when you come in for your first teeth cleaning in a while? Get all the details and know what to expect when you visit the dentist. 

1. Your Dental Hygienist Will Examine Your Mouth and May Take X-Rays

First, your dental hygienist will begin by conducting a brief exam of your mouth and oral health to identify any potential issues, or major oral health problems that may interfere with your teeth cleaning. X-rays also may be taken if you’re visiting a dentist for the first time. After this, x-rays are usually only required every few years.

2. Your Teeth Will Be Scaled to Remove Plaque and Tartar

Your hygienist will use a small hand mirror and a dental scaler to remove plaque and tartar from hard-to-reach areas of your mouth, eliminating the bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. You’ll feel some minor scraping sensations, but no discomfort or pain. 

3. Your Teeth Will Be Cleaned with A High-Powered Brush & Gritty Toothpaste

In this step, your teeth are polished and buffed to remove surface stains, plaque, and tartar. Each tooth is cleaned using a special gritty toothpaste. This helps reduce the buildup of bacteria and leaves your teeth bright and shiny.

4. Your Teeth Will Be Professionally Flossed to Remove Any Remaining Debris

Next, your hygienist will floss between each of your teeth, removing any food particles and plaque that may be building up in the gaps between your teeth. 

5. Your Dentist Will Examine Your Mouth to Look for Any Potential Issues

Once your hygienist has finished cleaning your teeth, the dentist will come into the room. They will discuss your oral health with your hygienist and note any areas of concern. 

Then, they will perform a comprehensive dental exam and oral health screening and identify any oral health problems – such as cavities or gum disease – that may require further treatment.

If they do notice any issues, they’ll discuss them with you, and provide their recommendations for the next steps to treat your oral health issue. 

Know What to Expect When You Get Your Teeth Cleaned 

Teeth cleanings are nothing to be anxious about. The process is quick and easy, and usually takes less than 45 minutes. Once you’re done, your teeth will look beautiful and clean, and you’ll know that you’re free of any major oral health issues!