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What to Expect During a Dental Cleaning Appointment

Visiting the dentist can be a stressful experience for many people. Odd sounds, prodding, and sometimes jaw pain can make you dread it, but there are ways to lessen this fear and enjoy your dental appointments.

A good dental hygienist is trained to help you feel more comfortable during your appointment. By understanding what will happen during your visit, you can better prepare yourself for your next cleaning and make the most of your time at the dentist’s office.


The purpose of a dental cleaning is to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums, which can lead to tooth decay, gum disease and other oral health problems. It also helps to maintain good oral hygiene.

Before your appointment, your hygienist will ask about any medications you take and medical conditions that may impact your oral health. She will do a thorough oral examination and perform x-rays, an oral cancer screening and a periodontal chart if she feels it necessary.

The hygienist will use special tools to remove plaque, bacteria and other buildup from the surfaces of your teeth. She will then provide you with tips and guidance on brushing and flossing to help you keep your teeth clean and healthy.


During the examination stage of a dental cleaning appointment, your dentist will perform a thorough checkup of your teeth and gums. The exam aims to detect and treat issues that may not be visible to the naked eye, such as oral cancer or periodontal disease.

The examination process can also include x-rays, which are vital for examining hidden areas in your mouth. This is especially important if your doctor suspects that you have a health condition that could affect your oral health.

According to the American Dental Association, the recommended frequency of exams is every six months for people with a healthy mouth. However, some patients with risk factors or underlying medical conditions may need to see their dentist more frequently.


During a dental cleaning appointment, a dental professional removes plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth using a handheld air/water syringe or an automatic ultrasonic scaler. Your hygienist will also examine your mouth and look for any signs of gum disease or oral cancer.

A routine dental cleaning is a must for everyone to keep their teeth and gums healthy. Typically, dentists recommend that patients visit the office twice a year for these preventative services.

When you arrive for your appointment, you’ll be greeted by an assistant or hygienist who will ask you about any medications that you may be taking or other medical conditions that could be impacting your oral health. This complete history helps the hygienist identify and document any issues.


After scaling and polishing your teeth, your dental hygienist will start with flossing. Flossing helps you remove plaque between your teeth and under your gums, areas that regular brushing can’t reach.

This will help prevent tooth decay and gum disease, as well as bad breath.

Flossing is an essential part of good oral health, and it should be performed at least once a day in addition to brushing.

Flossing is the process of using a thin string of dental floss to clean between your teeth. You can use a variety of floss types, including waxed or unwaxed. You can also choose plain or flavored options.

Final Exam

During this stage of the exam, a dental hygienist will use tools such as a scaler and a small mirror to scrape away tartar buildup. They will also floss to remove any traces of plaque or toothpaste that have been dislodged from the mouth.

The dental hygienist will then use a handpiece that is air or electric driven to gently polish the teeth and make them look whiter, brighter, and more attractive. This will help protect the tooth against stains and prevent them from soaking into the enamel.

After the cleaning, your dentist will rinse out your mouth to remove any dislodged debris and then apply a fluoride treatment to give your teeth extra protection from decay. This will help shield your teeth for months to come.

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