What Happens During a Professional Teeth Cleaning?

What Happens During a Professional Teeth Cleaning? Clearwater FLEven if you’ve been having your teeth cleaned by a dental professional on a regular basis for many years, you may not fully understand what the process entails. In addition to satisfying your curiosity, learning what happens during a professional teeth cleaning can help you better prepare for future dental appointments so you can keep your teeth, gums, and mouth as healthy as possible.

Although the process may vary among practitioners, here’s a general idea of what a professional teeth cleaning involves:

An Initial Inspection

After asking if you have any concerns about your teeth or gums, your dentist or dental hygienist will use a small mirror to check your mouth for signs of trouble, such as inflamed gums (gingivitis) or dark spots on your teeth (possible cavities).


Your dental checkup may include taking X-rays of your teeth and mouth (the recommended frequency can vary based on your medical history and current oral health condition). This quick and safe process can reveal many issues that are not visually apparent, such as tooth decay, tooth shifting, and bone loss in your jaw.

Removal of Plaque & Tartar

Next, your hygienist will use a special tool (scaler) to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. Plaque is a sticky, colorless film that continually forms as carbohydrates, food particles, saliva, and bacteria combine in your mouth. The bacteria in plaque secrete acids that can cause tooth decay and irritate gum tissue. Also, if plaque is not removed, it will eventually form tartar, a crusty deposit that can trap stains and discolor your teeth. Tartar creates a strong bond that can only be removed by a dental professional.


After removing the plaque and tartar from your teeth, your hygienist will use a powerful electric toothbrush and special toothpaste to remove any remaining stains. This “gritty” toothpaste will also polish your teeth, leaving them smooth and shiny.

Professional Flossing

Just like you do at home (or should), your hygienist will guide a length of dental floss between your teeth to remove any remaining plaque. During this step, the hygienist may ask about your flossing habits, point out any areas of concern, and recommend specific techniques.

Final Inspection

After reviewing your X-rays, your dentist will perform a final examination, which may include evaluating the “pockets” around your teeth, checking for teeth grinding issues, examining the alignment of your teeth, and addressing any questions or concerns you may have.

Schedule Your Next Cleaning

Now that you know what happens during a professional teeth cleaning, are you ready to schedule your next appointment? If you’re looking for experienced, reliable, and friendly dental professionals in Clearwater, FL, contact Florida Dental Centers. We look forward to hearing from you!