Six Steps To A Complete Dental Teeth Cleaning

Dentist Blog

While you need to clean your teeth yourself on a daily basis at home, no home cleaning is going to be quite as thorough as a teeth cleaning at the dentist office. If you've been to the dentist for a cleaning before, you know that your teeth look and feel much cleaner once a complete dental cleaning has been performed. 

The following are six steps that should be included during a dental cleaning for it to be complete: 

Inspection of the teeth and mouth

Dentists always want to first perform a cursory inspection of the patient's mouth to start the appointment and cleaning. This inspection will look out for any obvious problems that need to be addressed right away. 

During the inspection, the dentist will use mirror instruments to get a look at the back of the teeth. The dentist will also question the patient on whether he or she has experienced any pain or discomfort in the mouth recently. 

Removal of plaque

When it comes to a typical teeth cleaning, the most difficult and uncomfortable part of the cleaning for the patient is generally when the dentist or dental hygienist removes plaque from the teeth.

Plaque can be hard to remove, so the dental hygienist responsible for the cleaning will usually use dental scrapers and picks to force the plaque off the teeth. 

Although this part of the cleaning can be uncomfortable, the better the patient takes care of his or her teeth, the easier plaque removal should be. 


After plaque is removed, the hygienist will perform a thorough cleaning of the teeth. During this process, all the plaque and any other residue on the patient's teeth and in the patient's mouth will be washed away.


The dentist will then polish the teeth using what's known as a prophylaxis paste. This paste helps to remove stains and microorganisms like bacteria from the outer teeth surfaces. Polishing improves both the cleanliness and the appearance of the patient's teeth. 

Fluoride treatment

Some dentists may then want to use a fluoride treatment on the patient's teeth. This is especially common with young patients. Fluoride treatments fortify the patient's teeth against cavity development. 

During a fluoride treatment, the patient will need to wait while a tray with a gel or paste containing fluoride is placed into their mouth and around the teeth. 


After the cleaning and polishing, the dentist will usually want X-rays to be taken of the patient's teeth. X-rays are important because they determine if the patient has cavities in any of the teeth that need to be treated to prevent spreading tooth decay. 

Reach out to a dentist near you to learn more about dental teeth cleaning.


1 November 2019

Improving My Dental Appointments

After dealing with a few root canals, I realized that it was time to take my dental hygiene a more seriously. I talked with my dentist about what I could do differently, and he was full of great suggestions that would help. He walked me through different ways to brush, floss, and take care of tartar buildup, and it was really amazing to see the difference that it made. I also started taking a fluoride supplement to strengthen my enamel. When I made it to my next appointment, my dentist was blown away with the improvement. This blog is all about improving your dental appointments by keeping your teeth healthier.