What to Expect From Routine Dental Cleanings

Jun 17, 2021

According to a survey by the American Dental Association, 42% of people don’t visit a dentist as often as they would like to. This may be because of the cost of visiting a dentist, dental anxiety, or many other reasons. However, routine dental cleanings are vital to maintaining your oral health.

Do you want to learn more about what you can expect from routine dental cleaning and the benefits of routine dental cleanings? Keep reading this article!

Medical History

Getting routine dental cleanings is a part of preventative and general dentistry. Before any dental appointment, it is likely that you will have to give a brief medical history. Generally, your dentist’s office will give you a form to fill out that will list any medications you are taking, allergies, and more.

While you may not feel comfortable giving all this information, it is vital to keep you safe during your appointment! Depending on any conditions you have or medications you are taking, your dentist may need to change the way they are treating you.

For example, people who are pregnant may have a higher risk of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, as well as cavities. By letting your dentist know that you are pregnant on your medical history, you will stay safer and it will allow your dentist to treat you in the best way.

Teeth and Gum Examination

When you begin your dental appointment, the first thing your dental hygienist will do is examine your teeth and gums. They do this examination by using a mirror to check your mouth.

This will allow them to identify any pressing problems and will also help them know what they should focus on while cleaning your teeth. If there are any worrisome signs that your dental hygienist notices during this examination, she will ask the dentist to give another examination.


X-rays are commonly used in dental offices to check for issues with your teeth. While you can often spot the signs of decay on your teeth, there are times when decay isn’t visible.

Getting x-rays allows your dentist to check for problem areas in your mouth and to see the level of decay in any cavities.

Plaque Removal

Next, your dental hygienist will remove any plaque and tartar that has built up on the surface of your teeth. If you have routine cleaning and practice good oral health habits, like flossing, it is likely that you will have less buildup on your teeth.

To remove this plaque and tartar, a dentist will use a small tool with a hook to scrape your teeth. This is called scaling. Your dental hygienist does this process very carefully to avoid scratching your teeth.

Dental scaling is necessary to remove plaque and tartar. While brushing your teeth can help prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar, having it removed at your routine cleaning is often necessary.

This plaque is also removed from your gum line, where it is difficult to clean on your own.


After removing plaque from your teeth, your hygienist will polish your teeth and floss them. Polishing helps remove stains on your teeth and makes them feel smooth and clean.

The flossing will remove any excess plaque that was not rinsed off after the scaling process.

Additional Services

Once the dental cleaning is complete, your dental office may offer additional services! For example, many dentists offer to give you a fluoride treatment. This treatment can strengthen your enamel and prevent you from getting cavities in the future.

While this may be included in the routine dental cleaning cost, you may have to pay a small fee to get fluoride.

Another service dental offices provide are oral cancer screenings. This is a type of cancer that can quickly spread but can be helped with an early diagnosis.

Dentists are trained to recognize the early signs of oral cancer in their patients and can look for any irregularities. This is a potentially life-saving service!

When Should You Get Dental Cleanings

Many people wonder, “how often should I get my teeth cleaned?” Having routine dental cleanings can prevent many worse issues with your oral health. When you catch the signs of cavities early, you can prevent more serious treatment, like a root canal.

It is also beneficial to get regular dental exams to prevent oral cancer.

Generally, dentists recommend coming for dental cleanings every six months. This is for people who have good oral health and don’t have any serious dental issues. However, if you have more issues, you may need to come in more often to prevent your dental issues from becoming worse.

While it isn’t necessary to get a dental cleaning, it can save you money and time in the long run!

How to Prepare for a Dental Cleaning

There is not much you need to do before your dental cleaning.

First, you want to make sure you know your medical history. Make a note of any medications you are currently taking and have information about your health conditions readily available. This will make your medical history much easier to give.

It is also always a good idea to brush and floss your teeth before your appointment! Not only will it help your teeth feel cleaner, but it will make the cleaning easier for your dental hygienist.

Schedule Routine Dental Cleanings Today

If you are looking for a reliable dentist that can help you with routine dental cleanings, Toothologie Smile Studio can help! We offer services ranging from general dentistry to cosmetic dentistry and more.

Do you want to learn more about our services? Our office offers free consultations and will help you improve your oral health. Contact our team today if you have any questions or if you would like to schedule an appointment with our office!