What Does a Dental Cleaning Include?

A dental cleaning is one of the most basic types of dental appointments. However, this routine visit is actually a little more complicated than you may realize. Cleanings work hand-in-hand with your brushing and flossing at home to protect your teeth and gums from periodontal disease, more commonly known as gum disease. So without further adieu, let’s look at what goes into a dental cleaning appointment.


The purpose of a dental cleaning appointment is to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and around your gums to prevent gum disease. Plaque is a sticky substance formed by bacteria, which use it to adhere to your teeth. Think of it as pulling your chair right up to the buffet table and parking there while you eat. As bacteria feed on food debris and sugars, they also release acids that eat away at your tooth enamel and irritate your gums. So keeping up with those routine dental cleaning appointments gives you your best chance of avoiding gum disease and keeping your teeth intact.


The exact type of dental cleaning that you receive depends upon the current state of your teeth and gums. Let’s look at the different elements involved with a typical dental cleaning appointment.

A typical dental cleaning appointment is preceded by a dental exam to allow your dental team an opportunity to have a look at the current state of your teeth, mouth and gums. They can then compare this to a baseline created by your previous visits to determine if something is awry. If so, your dentist may be called in to take a closer look.


Your hygienist may use a gritty toothpaste and specialized dental tools to clean your teeth. All that you really need to do is to remain relaxed while your teeth are cleaned, polished and flossed. Some patients bring their own music to relax, while others chat or even take a nap to pass the time.

Your dental hygienist may also provide you with a professional flossing to remove any food particles from between your teeth. This is a good opportunity to ask for any tips that they may have to ensure that your teeth remain clean and healthy.


After the completion of your dental examination, cleaning, and any x-rays, you may need to consult with your dentist to discuss the results of your dental exam. If any issues were detected, they may recommend that you undergo an individualized treatment plan. Be sure to ask any questions that you may have about your situation and needs.


It can be all too easy to put off routine dental cleaning appointments, but hopefully we have highlighted the importance of these vital visits in protecting your teeth and gums from tooth decay and gum disease.

If you have been putting off your next dental cleaning, we strongly encourage you to contact our office today to get back on track with these important dental appointments.


Thanks for your support!

– Dr. Houlik



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