What to Expect During a Dental Cleaning & Exam

A bald Black man smiles as he leans back in a dental chair while waiting for his dental checkup

Everyone needs to daily brush and floss their teeth at home. But even patients with excellent oral hygiene should visit the dentist for professional cleanings and exams.

What Are Routine Dental Cleanings Like?

Most patients benefit from a professional dental cleaning every six months. At your appointment, your dental hygienist will check your mouth using a small mirror, which lets them see every part of your mouth. They’ll remove plaque (a sticky film of bacteria) and tartar (which is hardened plaque) from your teeth using special tools. Once they’ve cleaned every surface of your teeth and under your gumline, they’ll polish and floss your teeth.

What Is a Deep Cleaning?

You may need to visit our office for a deep cleaning if you have irritated and inflamed gums. Unlike regular preventive cleanings, deep cleanings are a treatment for gum disease, also called periodontal disease. Using a process called “scaling and root planing,” your hygienist cleans deeper under your gums and around the tooth root to remove accumulated plaque and tartar. This more extensive cleaning helps your gums heal and prevents additional tissue loss, including tooth loss and bone loss.

What Happens During a Dental Exam?

After your teeth are cleaned, it’s time for your dental exam! Your dentist will check your teeth, gums, tongue, jaw, and neck. They will perform an oral cancer screening and study your dental X-rays, if you had them taken. Your dentist will recommend treatment if they find a problem. Additionally, if you have any questions about your dental health or oral habits, now is a great time to ask!

Preventive Dentistry at Westgate Family Dental in South Austin, TX

While you may not want to visit the dentist unless there’s something wrong with your teeth, routine cleanings and exams will help protect you from issues like bad breath, gum disease, and cavities! Regular preventive care allows your dental team to identify problems early when they’re much easier to treat. So if you’re due for an appointment or have any questions about our services, please contact us today!