What Happens During Dental Cleanings?

What Happens During Dental Cleanings?

Many people only visit their dentist when feeling active pain or discomfort affecting their teeth. But it is important to see your Apple Dental dentist after every six months for regular checkups and dental cleanings. Although dental cleaning is a simple and painless process, some people dread the procedure. It is easy to understand their apprehension because of the prodding, strange noises, and occasional jaw discomfort. But knowing what exactly is involved in the process can help you calm your nerves and enjoy the minty-fresh results.

Physical exam

Dental hygienists perform most cleanings. Before cleaning, they will examine your mouth using a small mirror. This is important since it allows the provider to check for oral problems such as tooth decay and gingivitis. In case of any major issues, they will call the dentist to know if they can proceed with the cleaning.

Plaque and tartar removal

Using the guide of the small mirror, the dental hygienist uses a scaler to remove plaque and tartar on your teeth and around your gum line. You may hear a bit of scraping, but this should not be painful—the more tartar present, the more time your hygienist takes to scrape a particular spot.

Brushing and flossing regularly stop plaque from accumulating and hardening to tartar. Once tartar forms on your teeth and gum line, only your dentist can remove it. Therefore, if this is the part you dread the most, the lesson is to brush and floss often.


Once all your teeth are free from plaque and tartar, the hygienist uses a high-powered electric brush to clean them. The brush usually makes a grinding noise; this may sound scary, but it is a good way to get a deep clean and eliminate any tartar left behind. The toothpaste used usually tastes like regular ones, but you can choose between flavors. But unlike your usual toothpaste, the one your dental hygienist uses has a gritty consistency that gently scrubs your teeth. This teeth polishing is safe to do twice a year if done by a professional. You don’t want to be as harsh with your teeth at home; this will wear down the enamel.

Professional flossing

Nothing beats expert flossing, whether you floss at home or not. Getting your teeth flossed by a professional ensures you have no excess plaque between your teeth. It is also done to remove toothpaste from earlier in the cleaning process. During the flossing, the hygienist gets between your teeth and may locate potential trouble spots where you might bleed at the gums.


Next, your dental hygienist gives you a rinse containing liquid fluoride to eliminate any debris.

Fluoride treatment

A fluoride treatment is the last step of the dental cleaning process. It is important since fluoride creates a barrier to protect your teeth and helps fight cavities. You may choose your preferred flavor then your dental hygienist will place the foamy gel or sticky paste into a mouthpiece. The mouthpiece fits over your teeth and stays in place for about a minute. Your provider will also paint fluoride varnish on your teeth using a small brush.

Book an appointment today with your dentist at Apple Dental for a dental cleaning to improve your oral health.

Jacques Bedard