Say Cheese!: The Teeth Cleaning Process, Explained

Around 46 percent of Americans show signs of gum disease, which highlights the importance of professional teeth cleaning.

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Visiting your dental hygienist every six months is crucial as it removes bacteria, prevents diseases, and protects your teeth. But if you’re not familiar with the teeth cleaning process then it can feel overwhelming. Perhaps you’re nervous about your next appointment and you want to know the steps.

Sounds like you? Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything to know about the teeth cleaning process.

The Dentist Examines Your Teeth And Gums

The first step of the dental cleaning process is an examination of your teeth and gums. Your dental hygienist will use a small mirror to examine your mouth and look for signs of gingivitis or other potential diseases.

Note, before booking an appointment, take the time to research the dental team so you’re comfortable with the process.


Every routine dental cleaning includes scaling, where the hygienist removes plaque or tartar around your gums with a small hooked tool, known as a scaler. Depending on how much buildup there is, the dental hygienist may use a manual or ultrasonic scaler.

Although you may hear scraping, there is no pain and it’s an expected part of the procedure.


Not sure what to expect during a dental cleaning? Know, the third step consists of polishing and flossing.

Using an electric tool, the hygienist will apply gritty toothpaste over each tooth as it removes stains. You may also feel a grinding motion during this step, but this is normal.


Dental hygienists will also educate you on the importance of teeth cleaning and flossing. Like you would at home, the hygienist will floss between every tooth to remove any plaque buildup. They may also highlight any areas of concern and teach you how to make flossing far more effective.


In the final step of professional teeth cleaning, your dental hygienist will apply a fluoride treatment, which will protect you against cavities for several months. During this process, your hygienist will fill a mouthpiece filled with fluoride foam or gel and fit it over your teeth.

This will take around a minute and to make you more comfortable, you’ll get a choice of flavors. Once it’s finished, you will rinse it out with water and the entire process is completed.

But fluoride treatment is recommended to patients with moderate-to-severe risk of developing tooth decay. This is because fluoride is already present in water, mouthwash, and popular toothpaste brands.

Learn About The Teeth Cleaning Process Today

Hopefully, after reading this article, you’re familiar with the teeth cleaning process, which should give you peace of mind.

It starts by getting a tooth and gum examination before you’ll get scaling and polish. Then, once that’s done, patients will get a professional floor and potentially fluoride treatment which will protect their teeth for several months. Good luck!

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