During A Cleaning, You Can Expect These 7 Things

If you feel apprehensive about going in for a dental cleaning, it helps to know what happens during each stage of the process. Each step helps clear your smile of plaque and tartar and catches any cavities or tooth problems in the early stages.

Here are 7 things that you can expect during a cleaning.

1. Initial Examination

First, a hygienist will examine your teeth with a mirror tool and a light to spot any issues. They will also ask if you are experiencing any tooth pain or discomfort, and they will check those sensitive areas for any issues.

2. X-Rays

You will typically receive X-rays once each year. X-rays help your dentist identify the beginning of tooth decay to tackle the problem early. Thanks to modern technology, you can now get a digital X-ray, which exposes you to less radiation than a traditional X-ray.

3. Tartar and Plaque Removal

The third step is the scaling of tartar and plaque. Your hygienist will remove the buildup on your teeth with a sharp tool known as a scaler while using a mouth mirror to see your teeth from different angles. This step is essential, as even careful daily flossing and brushing cannot prevent all plaque or tartar buildup.

4. Thorough Dental Cleaning

Your hygienist will use gritty toothpaste and a high-powered electric toothbrush. This step cleans your teeth more thoroughly than regular brushing.

Afterward, they will rinse your mouth with water and use a small suction tool to vacuum out the toothpaste and water.

5. Flossing

Next, your hygienist will floss your teeth as you do at home. This step is necessary to remove any final traces of plaque. After this step is complete, the fluoride treatment comes next if your dentist recommends it.

6. Fluoride Treatment

Fluoride treatment helps to preserve your enamel. Your hygienist will place a mouthpiece containing a flavored, high-concentration fluoride gel over your teeth. After at least one minute, your hygienist will remove the mouthpiece.

7. Dental Examination

As a final step, your dentist will examine your teeth to see if there are any issues to address. You can also ask your dentist for tips on caring for your teeth at home or bring up any concerns about your oral health.


Undergoing a dental cleaning can be mildly uncomfortable, but we do our best to make you feel at ease. Dental cleanings are safe and beneficial for oral and overall health. A dental cleaning every six months will keep your smile clean, healthy, and bright.

Are you ready to book your next dental cleaning? Contact our office today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Stacy D. Johnson.

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