What Is Included in a Dental Cleaning?

What Is Included in a Dental Cleaning?

A trip to the dentist can often make you very nervous and anxious. However, you may be able to be a bit more relaxed if you know what is going to happen during the appointment. Understanding what the dentist is doing and why can help your experience be a little different. 

One of the dental appointments that most people may be concerned about is dental cleaning. What exactly happens in a dental cleaning? Why can I not do it myself at home? What are the stages involved?


Read on and learn what happens during a dental cleaning.



Physical Examination



Most of the time, a dental hygienist performs dental cleanings in a clinic. Before the hygienist begins the process, they must first perform an oral examination. They will check around your mouth using a small mirror tool. They are looking for any signs of gingivitis or any other infection you may have. If you have any issues, they will need the dentists to confirm that a dental cleaning will not affect you.



Plaque and Tartar Removal



The first cleaning stage is removing tartar and plaque that have formed on your teeth. The hygienist will use two tools, a small mirror and a scaler. The scaler removes the plaque and tartar, and the mirror is to guide them. Plaque forms when you do not brush regularly and hardens into tartar. When plaque turns into tartar, it can only be removed by a dentist. 



Using Gritty Toothpaste



After scaling the tartar away, they will use a powerful electric brush. It will help remove any remaining tartar and for a deep clean. The dental hygienist will use a special toothpaste that smells like regular toothpaste. They may ask you to choose a specific flavor of the toothpaste. 

Although it tastes and smells like regular toothpaste, it has a grittier consistency. The grittiness helps scrub your teeth only a bit gently. However, you should not use this toothpaste more than twice a year. Using it often may wear down the enamel of your teeth.



Professional Flossing



You will then get professional flossing from the hygienist. It is useful even though you floss at home because they will get to the trouble spots. They will also remove any tartar or excess toothpaste hiding between the teeth.






After the expert flossing, the hygienist will rinse your mouth to remove any leftover toothpaste. They also rinse to eliminate debris that may have fallen into your mouth. The rinsing liquid is not plain water; it usually contains liquid fluoride. 



Fluoride Treatment



After rinsing, the hygienist will proceed to the last step of the dental cleaning, fluoride treatment. Fluoride treatment works to protect your teeth against cavities for some months. They will often ask you what flavor you would like. Then they will put the foamy gel in a mouthpiece that will fit over your teeth. The gel will stay on your teeth for about a minute and then be removed.

After removing the foamy gel, the hygienist may varnish your teeth with the same foamy gel. It will harden when it encounters your saliva.


For more on dental cleanings, visit Castro Valley Dentistry at our office in Castro Valley, California. Call (510) 674-0900 to book an appointment today.

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