What Does Professional Teeth Cleaning Involve?

Updated on December 9, 2019

Clean teeth aren’t a fad! The 5,000 B.C.-era Egyptians used a unique teeth-cleaning method—crushed eggshells and animal hooves. If only the ancient Egyptians had access to social media, they could have shown off their sparkling smiles!

Aren’t you glad you can visit the dentist instead of sticking an animal foot in your mouth?

If you’re preparing for your first dental cleaning and aren’t sure what to expect, you’re in the right place. Take a minute and learn what happens during a professional teeth cleaning appointment.

But I Brush My Teeth Every Day

Even the most faithful brushers need regular dental checks and cleanings.

Brushing helps remove plaque from teeth, but professional dental cleaning removes what the toothbrush misses. 

Regular cleanings also prevent the development or advancement of gum disease. Gum disease when allowed to progress, often results in tooth loss.

Your First Cleaning

Before the real work begins, your dentist will assess your gum health and identify areas where you have the most plaque. While you may see the dentist for the first part of your visit, in most dental offices, a dental hygienist does the cleaning.

Everything takes place in the reclining chair—the same comfortable chair where you have all your other dental work done.

Dental hygienists use a set of tools designed to clean your teeth thoroughly. The hygienist toolbox includes the following:

  • Mirror
  • Scalers
  • Tooth Polisher
  • Water Hose
  • Suction Hose

The mirror fits in your mouth and helps the hygienist see the back areas of your teeth. Scalers look like tiny hooks and help gently remove hardened pieces of tarter.

Using the water hose, the hygienist periodically rinses away debris removed from your teeth with the scalers. The suction hose prevents you from swallowing any water.

Sometimes you’ll have stubborn tartar or a large buildup of it below the gum line. In that case, scaling takes a bit longer and may feel uncomfortable. If you feel sensitivity or pain during your cleaning, let your dental team know.

Now for the Polishing

This is the fun part of your cleaning appointment! Your hygienist brings out the flavored polish. It tastes great but feels like gummy sand.

The polisher and the gummy sand polish work together to finish removing any tartar left after the scaling. Now it’s time for polishing your tooth enamel (you’re almost finished)!

After the polishing comes flossing. The hygienist flosses to make sure debris and bits of tartar aren’t left behind. You’ll also get a lesson on how to floss at home!

One final rinse and you’re done! When you leave the dentist’s office after a cleaning, your teeth feel wondrously clean and smooth!

Ready for Your First Teeth Cleaning?

There’s nothing better than the feeling of freshly polished teeth! Regular teeth cleaning is good for your smile and your health. We hope we’ve inspired you to make an appointment with your dentist.

If you enjoyed this post, continue browsing our archives where you’ll find some great articles on taking care of your teeth and your health.

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