What Happens At A Dental Cleaning?

What Happens At A Dental Cleaning Balog DDS Monroe Michigan

Many people dread going to the dentist for a teeth cleaning because of the poking and prodding, strange noises they hear, and their jaw becoming sore. Most realize that teeth cleaning is simple and painless. Knowing exactly what will happen during your appointment can ease your nerves and allow you to better enjoy the minty-fresh results.

Here are the steps that lay out what happens at a dental cleaning:

Step 1: The Physical Examination

Most dental cleanings are performed by a dental hygienist. They start the exam with an oral assessment of your entire mouth and teeth. The dental hygienist uses a mirror to check for signs of gingivitis or other potential problems and calls the dentist if they detect major concerns.

Step 2: Removing Any Plaque/Tartar

The dental hygienist will use a mirror and a scaler to scrape plaque and tartar from your teeth. You’ll hear scraping, but this is normal. They’ll need more time to scrape the spots that have lots of plaque or tartar. If you have tartar buildup, you must remove it at a dental office. To avoid tartar, keep up with regular brushing and flossing and your teeth will stay healthy.

Step 3: Toothpaste Cleaning with Some Grit

The next part of the cleaning entails a professional use toothpaste that smells and tastes like regular toothpaste, but it has a gritty consistency. This polishing of the teeth is safe to be done twice a year. But you should not do this at home because it will wear down the enamel.

Step 4: Some Seriously Professional Flossing

Whether or not you floss at home, nothing compares to a professional cleaning. Your dentist can get between your teeth and locate any potential trouble spots where you might bleed at the gums. This is important even if you floss regularly at home because your dentist will also remove any leftover plaque or toothpaste from earlier in the cleaning process.

Step 5: A Rinse Down

At this time your mouth will be rinsed of any debris. Some hygienists will give you a special rinse that contains fluoride.

Step 6: Time for Flouride

Your dental hygienist may ask you what flavor you like best. They’ll then place the paste into a mouthpiece that fits over your teeth. It’s usually left on your teeth for one minute. Besides the foamy gel, fluoride varnish is also painted onto the teeth with a small brush.


Depending on what dental office you go to, your steps may differ a bit but these are the basics. Regular dental cleanings are extremely important in keeping up the health of your teeth. Regain confidence in your smile and contact us today to set up an appointment.