What Exactly Happens During a Teeth Cleaning?

It's no secret that most people dread visiting the dentist's office. It's uncomfortable and semi-impersonal because it's difficult to communicate with tools and fingers in your mouth, and ultimately just not the most pleasant of experiences.

[ photo: pexels.com by daniel frank ]

It is, however, wholly necessary to get regular teeth checkups and cleanings with the Dentist in Charlotte to avoid having to go through even more invasive procedures that can be avoided through these cleanings. When you're actually going through the cleaning, have you ever considered what's actually happening inside your mouth? 

Of course, you can't see it, but can acutely feel what's going on. The process itself is something few people tend to focus on. Most people just want it to be over as quickly as possible. But then, the question remains - what exactly is the dental staff up to in there?

Well, let us break it down for you:

Pre-cleaning check

This part is most often done by a dental hygienist and is the beginning of the entire tooth cleaning procedure. The hygienist will use a mirror to scout around the teeth and gums and look for any apparent issues. Right now, the main aim is to look for problem areas where it's likely that there's a buildup of plaque and tartar, as well as looking for signs of gingivitis or other oral diseases.

Tartar control

The most intensive portion of this procedure happens now, and is often the part most people dread the most. Many practices, such as Golsen Family Dentistry, often provide a TV in the room to focus on to make time pass a little quicker. Plaque and tartar are scraped off of the teeth using a scaling device - most often with a small hook-shaped implement. It's at this point that you'll hear and feel the hygienist diligently scraping off all of the problem areas inside of your mouth.

Electric toothbrush cleaning

What happens next is usually a welcome reprieve from the head to toe scrape you just endured. Using a high-powered brush, the hygienist will brush all of the teeth with special toothpaste that's very gritty in nature. This grittiness removes any plaque that the hygienist couldn't get, or that's lingering after the scaling, and leaves teeth extremely clean.


Next, the staff will floss between each tooth with expertise. Since they have the advantage of dexterity and know-how, this floss cycle will be much more thorough than what any individual can accomplish at home. This has a two-fold effect of further ensuring that the teeth and the space between them are as clean as possible to ensure proper gum health, as well as to remove anything left from the cleaning process.


It's at this point that you'll be given a cup of water, and be told to rinse your mouth and spit into the nearby sink. This helps to wash your mouth, as well as to get the strange taste out of your mouth that tends to accompany this procedure.

Sometimes, a fluoride treatment is then applied. That's where you get to pick a flavor of fluoride, which is then put onto the teeth using trays that fit your upper and lower tooth lines. 

However, this step doesn't always occur. If the hygienist noticed anything of grave importance, the dentist will then come in and consult with the hygienist for the next course of action. Most of the time, though, the teeth cleaning procedure is simply over, and you can get back to your daily life. Hopefully, this makes it easier to sit through, since now, you know exactly what you're in for.

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