What to Expect During a Professional Dental Cleaning

A professional dental cleaning is an essential part of maintaining good oral health. It not only helps in preventing oral diseases but also keeps your teeth and gums in excellent condition. Regular dental cleanings are recommended every six months and are typically carried out by a dental hygienist. If you have never had a professional dental cleaning done before, it is natural to have some questions and uncertainties. In this article, we will discuss what you can expect during a professional dental cleaning.

1. Introduction and Initial Assessment

Upon arriving at the dental clinic, you will be greeted by the friendly dental staff who will guide you through the process. The first step is usually an initial assessment conducted by the dental hygienist. They will ask you about your medical history, any dental concerns or issues you may have, and perform an oral examination.

2. Dental Scaler and Mirror Examination

The dental hygienist will use a dental scaler and a small mirror to carefully examine your teeth and gums. They will check for any signs of plaque, tartar buildup, or gum inflammation. This examination helps them identify areas that need extra attention during the cleaning process.

3. Removing Plaque and Tartar

Next, the dental hygienist will use a scaler to remove plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that accumulates on your teeth, and if left untreated, it can harden and turn into tartar. Tartar cannot be removed by regular brushing and flossing alone, requiring professional cleaning to eliminate it thoroughly.

The dental hygienist will gently scrape away the plaque and tartar from around your gum line, between your teeth, and on the surfaces of your teeth. This process may cause a little discomfort or sensitivity, especially if you have sensitive gums.

4. Teeth Polishing

After the plaque and tartar have been removed, the dental hygienist will polish your teeth using a high-powered electric brush or a special polishing tool. They will apply a gritty toothpaste-like substance to your teeth and rotate the brush/tool across the surfaces of your teeth. Teeth polishing helps in smoothing out any rough areas and removes surface stains, giving your teeth a clean and shiny appearance.

5. Professional Flossing

Following the teeth polishing, the dental hygienist will proceed to floss your teeth. While you may floss regularly at home, professional flossing ensures that all hard-to-reach areas are thoroughly cleaned. The hygienist will carefully maneuver the floss in between your teeth and along the gum line, removing any remaining plaque or debris.

6. Fluoride Treatment

After the cleaning process is complete, the dental hygienist may apply a fluoride treatment to help strengthen your teeth and prevent decay. Fluoride is usually applied as a gel or foam that is placed into a mouth tray and then inserted into your mouth for a few minutes.

7. Oral Health Tips and Recommendations

Before wrapping up your dental cleaning appointment, the dental hygienist will provide you with oral health tips and recommendations. They may suggest specific brushing or flossing techniques, recommend products suitable for your oral health needs, and address any concerns you may have regarding your dental hygiene routine.

8. Follow-up Appointments

Depending on your dental health, the dental hygienist may schedule your next cleaning appointment. Most individuals require dental cleanings every six months, but if you have gum disease or other dental issues, you may need more frequent visits. Regular cleanings and check-ups are crucial to maintaining optimal oral health.


A professional dental cleaning is a vital aspect of keeping your teeth and gums healthy. By understanding what to expect during a dental cleaning, you can feel more at ease and make the most out of your dental hygiene appointments. Remember, preventive measures such as regular cleanings can save you from potential dental problems in the future. So, prioritize your oral health and make sure to schedule your next dental cleaning appointment today!