What To Expect On Your Routine Dental Cleaning And Examination


Regular dental cleanings and examinations are essential components of maintaining optimal oral health. These routine check-ups help keep your teeth and gums in great shape and aid in the early detection of potential issues.


If you don’t know what to expect during your dental cleaning and examination, don’t fret. We’re here to provide an informative and engaging overview of the entire process, so you can confidently walk into your appointment knowing what to expect.

Preparing for Your Dental Cleaning and Examination

It’s essential to be well-prepared before heading to your appointment with your dentist. Brush and floss your teeth before heading over to the clinic. List any concerns or questions regarding your oral health beforehand to ensure you don’t forget to address them during your visit. Additionally, inform your dentist of any changes in your medical history or current medications, as certain health conditions or medications may affect your dental health.

If you’ve recently transferred to a new location or want a new dentist, search your area by keying in ‘dentist near me’ on the search bar to start looking.

With that aside, let’s proceed with the main processes your dentist may perform during your appointments:


1. The Dental Cleaning Process

A thorough cleaning is vital to maintaining a healthy smile and a strong defense against oral health issues. During this procedure, your dental hygienist will remove plaque, tartar, and stains to keep your teeth and gums in optimal condition.

  • Plaque and Tartar Removal

The first step of your dental cleaning is the removal of plaque and tartar. Plaque is a sticky film teeming with bacteria that forms on your teeth, while tartar is hardened plaque that can’t be eradicated with regular brushing and flossing. Your dental hygienist will use specialized tools, like a scaler, to gently scrape away plaque and tartar from your teeth.

  • Tooth Polishing

After your teeth have been thoroughly cleaned of plaque and tartar, your hygienist will polish your teeth using a gritty toothpaste called prophylaxis paste. This paste helps remove surface stains and leaves your teeth looking and feeling smooth and shiny.

  • Flossing

The next step in the cleaning process is flossing. Your dental hygienist will expertly floss between each tooth to remove any lingering plaque or debris. This step also allows the hygienist to check for any signs of gum inflammation or bleeding.

  • Fluoride Treatment

Lastly, your dental hygienist may apply a fluoride treatment to help strengthen your tooth enamel and protect against cavities. This treatment typically comes in the form of a gel or varnish and is applied to your teeth using a small brush or tray.

  • Dental Sealants

Your dentist may recommend applying dental sealants if you have deep pits in your molars. Sealants are thin, protective coatings that help prevent tooth decay by covering these vulnerable areas and making it difficult for plaque and bacteria to accumulate.

2. The Dental Examination

Periodic examinations let your dentist identify and address potential dental problems early on, ensuring your oral health is well-maintained. This comprehensive assessment covers various aspects, like checking for cavities, evaluatinggum health, and screening for oral cancer.

  • Visual Inspection

During the examination, your dentist will carefully inspect your teeth, gums, and mouth for any signs of dental issues or diseases. They will look for cavities, gum inflammation, abnormal tooth wear, and other irregularities that may require further investigation or treatment.

  • X-Rays

Occasionally, your dentist may recommend conducting dental X-rays to understand your oral health better. These X-rays are pivotal in detecting cavities, tooth infections, bone loss due to periodontal diseases, and other complications that may not be immediately apparent during a visual inspection.

  • Oral Cancer Screening

Your dentist may also perform an oral cancer screening as part of your dental examination. The evaluation involves checking your mouth, lips, tongue, and throat for any unusual lumps, sores, or discolorations that could indicate oral cancer. Early detection is crucial for successful treatment, making this screening an essential aspect of your routine dental examination.

  • Bite and Jaw Evaluation

Another critical component of your dental examination is assessing your bite and jaw function. Your dentist will check how your teeth fit together when you bite down, looking for any signs of misalignment or malocclusion. They will also evaluate the function of your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) to ensure that your jaw moves smoothly and without discomfort.

  • Periodontal (Gum) Assessment

Your dentist will evaluate your gum health by measuring the depth of the spaces between your teeth and gums, known as periodontal pockets. According to the World Health Organization, the assessment may help detect early signs of gum disease, which affects at least 19% of the global population.

  • Occlusal Evaluation

Your dentist will assess the wear patterns on your teeth and may recommend adjustments, such as reshaping the biting surfaces or providing a nightguard, to address teeth grinding (bruxism) or other issues related to your bite.

  • Orthodontic Assessment

During a routine examination, your dentist may evaluate your teeth and bite for signs of crowding, spacing, or misalignment.

  • Denture and Dental Appliance Assessment

If you wear dentures or other removable dental appliances, such as retainers or nightguards, your dentist will check their fit, cleanliness, and overall condition. They may recommend adjustments or replacements if necessary.


Establishing oral health care at a young age is crucial to prevent significant oral problems later in life. If you have a child, consider scheduling their first dentist appointment to help instill proper dental hygiene habits.

3. Discussing Your Oral Health and Treatment Recommendations

After cleaning and examining, your dentist will discuss their findings with you and make any necessary treatment recommendations. This is an opportunity to ask questions and address concerns about your oral health. It would be best if you worked with your dentist to create a personalized treatment plan to address identified issues and maintain your overall oral health.

Your dentist may discuss your diet and oral hygiene habits, recommending improvements to help sustain good oral health. This discussion may include suggestions for specific toothbrushes, toothpaste, flossing techniques, mouthwash, or other oral care products.

4. Scheduling Your Next Appointment

It would help to schedule your next visit before leaving the dental clinic. Most dentists recommend cleanings and examinations every six months to keep your oral health in check. Your dentist may suggest more frequent visits, depending on your dental needs.

Remember that the procedures performed during a routine cleaning and examination may vary based on your needs and the dentist’s professional judgment. It’s crucial to maintain open communication with your dentist and ask questions if you’re unsure about any aspect of your dental care.


Concluding Thoughts

Now that you know what to expect during your routine dental cleaning and examination, you can confidently attend your appointment and take an active role in preserving your oral health.

About Sarah Williams

Sarah Williams is a blogger and writer who expresses her ideas and thoughts through her writings. She loves to get engaged with the readers who are seeking for informative contents on various niches over the internet. She is a featured blogger at various high authority blogs and magazines in which she shared her research and experience with the vast online community.

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