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What To Expect During A Dental Cleaning

What To Expect During A Dental Cleaning

Dental cleaning procedures are essential to your overall oral health and are recommended by the Canadian Dental Association at least every six months. Dental anxieties and phobias may hold some of us back from visiting the dentist which can have harmful effects on our dental health. For the most part, professional dental cleanings are painless, quick, and are a necessary component of dental hygiene and vital for long-term oral health. If you are feeling anxious about your appointment, there is no need to worry! Your dentist will ensure you are as comfortable as possible and will be able to answer any questions you may have. 

Teeth And Gum Examination

Before a dental hygienist begins your cleaning, they will use a concave mirror to look around your mouth and teeth for any signs of oral problems such as inflamed gums, staining, and buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth. This will allow your hygienist to know what areas to focus on during the cleaning process. If your dental hygienist detects any significant problems such as gum disease during the examining process or cleaning process, they will consult the dentist for a more thorough examination. 


Plaque and tartar are typically the root cause of many oral health problems. Plaque is a sticky, pale yellow film that is constantly building up on your teeth and along your gum lines. When foods, beverages, and saliva combine to form plaque, it traps bacteria and can cause cavities and other dental problems. Scaling is the process of removing this stubborn plaque which cannot be removed from simply brushing your teeth. Your dental hygienist will use a small, pointy-hooked tool to begin scraping off the plaque from your teeth. Your dental hygienist will also ask you to rinse your mouth out with a special water spout repeatedly throughout the cleaning process. 


After the removal of plaque and tartar, your dental hygienist will move on to polishing your teeth with an electric brush. The polish is a gritty toothpaste called prophylaxis paste and is used to remove stains from your teeth. The electric brush uses a rubber prophy cup attached at the end and spins to rub in the toothpaste against your teeth. Patients typically hear a small grinding noise but the polishing does not cause any discomfort or pain. After your dental hygienist is finished polishing, they will rinse out your mouth with the water spout to clear any polish left on your teeth.


Your dental hygienist will then floss your teeth while checking for any areas in the gums that may bleed. This is how your dental hygienist will know if you are regularly flossing at home. The more you floss, the less sensitive your gums are and less prone to bleeding. 

Fluoride Treatment

The fluoride treatment is the final step of the dental cleaning process and is used to prevent tooth decay. Your dentist may use a mouthpiece filled with fluoride gel that fits over your teeth and has to stay there for a few minutes before rinsing your mouth out. Other dentists use a mouthwash that you swish around your mouth for one minute or apply a clear film of the fluoride on your teeth that stays there for the rest of the day. 

Book Your Dental Cleaning Today!

While visiting your dentist for a dental cleaning appointment may leave you feeling anxious, it is an important part of dental hygiene and essential that you get your teeth cleaned and examined by your dentist to prevent both oral and overall health problems. Delaying a visit to your dentist will only cause more consequential future oral health problems that can be more invasive and expensive to fix. Severe dental problems such as tooth decay can cause other health complications and your dentist will also be able to identify signs of oral cancer and cosmetic issues. Visit your dentist regularly to avoid these problems and ensure your teeth are in good health and that you are taking care of them at home correctly.

Dr. Korol Dental is a leading holistic and biocompatible dental practice in Calgary that offers dental cleanings, wisdom teeth extraction, emergency dentistry, and more. Our hygienists have the experience and expertise to provide unique cleaning solutions in tune with your body's overall needs. To book a dental exam and dental cleaning, contact our clinic by calling 403-245-9099, or by filling out our online contact form


Q: How long is a dental cleaning procedure?
A: Your dental cleaning is usually scheduled for one hour. Your appointment may be shorter depending on how much work needs to be done. 

Q: Will I feel the scaling on my teeth?
A: You will not feel the scraping sensation from the scaling process during your cleaning. You may hear the scraping and feel a sensation of pressure on your teeth, but you will not feel the discomfort of the scraping. 

Q: Why do my gums bleed during flossing?
A: Your gums are bleeding from flossing because they are overly sensitive to plaque buildup. Ensure you are flossing regularly as part of your dental hygiene routine to prevent plaque and tartar buildup as this can lead to gum disease and other oral health problems.


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