What Happens at a Dental Cleaning?

Dental offices across the globe are currently closed as the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, but one day they will reopen and many people will be overdue for their teeth cleaning. Here’s what to expect when you come in for your next visit.

It all starts with a physical exam. The dental hygienist will move a tiny mirror around your mouth to see if anything looks out of the ordinary, taking note of any inflamed gums, bleeding, and signs of gingivitis. If nothing is found, the cleaning can proceed. However, things of interest will be alerted to the dentist who will normally come in and assess the situation and guide the hygienist on how to proceed.During this step, x-rays of your teeth may also be taken.

For the cleaning part of the exam, the hygienist will use a scaler, which is like a metal toothpick, to clean any plaque from around the gums and inbetween your teeth–the hard to reach areas. Patients who spend time at home brushing and flossing regularly will rarely feel discomfort during this step, while those who aren’t so vigilant with their oral health routine will often say that this is the most uncomfortable step.

Once the teeth have been scaled, the hygienist will go in with a high powered toothbrush and a gritty toothpaste that will remove any plaque that has been left behind, as well as polish the teeth to leave them smooth and shiny.

To finish up the exam, your hygienist will floss your teeth and rinse your mouth with water to remove anything leftover. Before you leave, make sure to take home a toothbrush and trial size container of floss, and don’t forget to book your next appointment in advance. Appointments can always be moved around if the date chosen does not work in the future.

Stay safe and healthy out there! We can’t wait to see you again.