Dental Cleaning: What Does It Involve?

Although a professional cleaning is a key aspect of any dental checkup, for many people it is a source of anxiety when visiting the dentist. Often, this is due to a fear of the unknown, induced by the scrapping and whirring instruments, as cleanings are usually painless experiences. Knowing exactly what is going on will help you feel more comfortable about receiving a dental cleaning in North York.

Plaque and Tartar Removal

This is what most people associate with a dental cleaning, but it is actually just the first part. Your dental hygienist will use a scaler (a scraping tool) to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth, particularly at the gum line and between teeth. By using a small mirror, the dental hygienist will be able to look into your mouth at every angle.

Toothpaste Cleaning

Next, the dental hygienist will use a special toothpaste. This is unlike the one you use at home, although it may taste the same. He or she will apply the toothpaste to a high-power electric toothbrush, rubbing it into your teeth. The gritty texture removes any remaining plaque and tartar while polishing your teeth smooth. The procedure is safe up to twice per year, but you should never brush your teeth yourself using such pressure — this would gradually wear down the enamel.

Floss and Rinse

To ensure your teeth are completely free from plaque and tartar after scaling and polishing, your dental hygienist will floss between your teeth. You will then receive a rinse, often containing fluoride, to wash your mouth clean.

Fluoride Treatment

Once your teeth are clean, you may receive a fluoride treatment to protect against cavities. This treatment comes in a gel or paste. Your dental hygienist will apply it using a tray that fits over your teeth. You will need to wait about one minute to complete the treatment.

Dental Checkup And What Your Dentist Does

Everyone has experienced a dental checkup but few people know exactly what is going on. Understanding what your dentist is doing during your dental checkup in North York will help curb your anxiety and make you feel more relaxed in the dentist chair.

Review of Your Medical History

Your first dental checkup with a new dentist begins with a discussion of your medical history. This will cover chronic conditions, serious illnesses, medications you are currently taking, allergies, and diet. You will also have the chance to talk about any concerns you have about your oral health.

Professional Teeth Cleaning

A professional cleaning is carried out by your dental hygienist. This is necessary to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. It involves the use of a metal scraping tool and a tooth polisher.

Mouth Examination

Your dentist will look for any problems with your teeth using a metal probe and angled mirror. The dentist will examine your teeth for decay and soft enamel or dentin and your gums for mouth sores, redness, and deep pockets, which are a sign of gum disease. Your dentist will also check your jaw and neck for lumps that could indicate oral cancer.


On occasion, your dentist will take X-rays of your teeth. You will be protected from radiation with the use of a heavy apron over your body. Your dentist will use the X-rays to check the roots of your teeth and your jawbone, looking for bone loss, fractures, and abnormalities.

Cavity Prevention

If you at a high risk for cavities, your dentist may apply a sealant to your back teeth. This stops food from becoming trapped in the grooves. Another way to prevent decay is with fluoride solution applied to your teeth.

Regular dental checkups are imperative as prevention means and to help detect any signs of oral disease at the earliest possible time.