What To Know Before Your Dental Cleaning & Exam

posted byMuse Dental GroupOctober 20, 2020

Scheduling regular dental cleanings and exams are crucial for maintaining your dental hygiene, and overall health. Even if you brush and floss regularly, it is important to visit your dentist for an exam.

Are you ready for your next dental cleaning and exam? Read on to learn about:

What takes place during a dental cleaning and examination?


The first thing that happens when one visits a dentist for a cleaning and examination is getting an x-ray of the mouth. This allows the dentist to examine the teeth clearly and allows for the diagnosis of any existing problems.

X-rays are especially for diagnosing problems that are not always visible with the naked eye, like a cavity.

Additionally, x-rays allow the dentist to look at the tooth root and surrounding structure to determine if a patient is at risk for periodontal disease.

Physical Exam

After X-rays are taken, the dentist will examine the mouth with a mirror to distinguish any other problems and decide if the patient needs any treatment other than a cleaning, such as filling a cavity.

Removing Plaque and Tartar

Once the dental exam is completed, it is time to begin the cleaning.

The first step is removing the plaque and tartar (built-up plaque) from the teeth, which often builds up due to a lack of flossing. The plaque and tartar are scraped off the teeth and around the gums.

The more plaque that is built up, the more scrapping that needs to happen.

Professional Brushing and Flossing

The dentist then brushes the teeth with a high powered electric toothbrush along with some toothpaste that has a gritty texture. This toothpaste gently scrubs the teeth, allowing for a deep clean and polish.

The brushing is followed by professional flossing, where the dentist pinpoints any troublesome areas that need extra flossing or are at risk for gingivitis (gum inflammation). Professional flossing also ensures that any leftover plaque or tartar is removed.

Fluoride Treatment

Fluoride is then applied to the teeth to protect the teeth from cavities after the cleaning. Therefore, if you are prone to getting cavities, your dentist may recommend getting a fluoride treatment more often.

There are multiple types of fluoride treatments. The fluoride can be painted on with a tiny brush before you leave the dental office, or fluoride treatment can be done by placing a mouthguard with foam or gel onto the teeth for a minute.


Dentists often conclude the cleaning by adding sealant to the back molars, where most people chew their food. Adding a sealant helps protect the teeth from future tooth decay and cavities by creating a protective layer that blocks out food and germs.

Is dental cleaning painful?

Many people visit the dentist with the expectation that the treatments will be painful.

However, visiting the dentist is only painful if you have been neglecting your dental hygiene.

Although those with sensitive teeth may feel some discomfort, routine cleanings are not painful and really only involve some brushing a scraping.

A dental visit only becomes painful when more serious problems need treating. Even then, this pain is not unbearable.

For example, someone who has neglected their dental hygiene is likely to have a cavity that is filled by drilling a hole in the tooth and placing a filling in it. Since the patient would be numbed before this process, using local anesthesia, the patient would not feel pain from the drilling.

Benefits of regularly scheduled dental cleanings and examinations

There are many benefits to regularly scheduled dental cleanings and examinations .

Firstly, dental exams allow for early diagnosis of potentially serious dental health problems. Without a diagnosis, something as easily treatable as a cavity can lead to tooth extraction.

Next, teeth cleaning will help with any discoloration and remove any stains, making for a brighter smile.

Finally, dental cleaning also helps prevent gum disease , which is linked to cardiovascular disease.

In sum, not only does scheduling regular dental cleanings and exams ensure a beautiful smile, but it also helps detect possibly life-threatening health problems.

How Often to Visit the Dentist for Dental Cleaning and Exams?

Maintaining dental hygiene means visiting your dentist regularly. Just like getting a check-up at the doctor’s office, visiting the dentist should be a priority.

Most dentists recommend scheduling a visit for a dental cleaning and examination every six months. Although, it is possible to go a whole year without a dental visit.

However, if you struggle with dental hygiene, are undergoing treatment for a problem, or feel any unusual pain, you should visit your dentist more often, every 3 to 4 months.


Routine dental cleaning and exams are essential to having a bright, white smile! For those who already have great dental hygiene, visiting your dentist supplements your efforts.

Here at Muse Dental, we want to help you maintain your oral health and provide you with the best care possible. If you are due for a dental cleaning and exam, schedule your appointment with us today!

We’d love to have you for a checkup at Muse Dental Group with Dr. G. Bardakjian. He will evaluate your oral health and will ensure your cleaning is done with the utmost care.

Your smile is in great hands at Muse Dental Group!

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