What Does a Regular Dental Cleaning Entail?

Cartoon of a woman in the dental chair getting an exam.
Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

The most common dental appointments that occur at a dental office are routine cleanings and examinations. No matter the state of your oral health, every patient should visit their dentist twice a year for a professional cleaning and thorough examination of their teeth, gums, jaw, and throat. Let’s take a look at what a regular dental cleaning looks like at our Leesburg, VA dental office.

The Physical Examination

Your dental appointment will begin with a physical examination of your mouth. Your dental hygienist will ask you if you’ve had any issues you want to address or if you have any questions. Then they’ll take a look around your mouth with a small mirror to check for any signs of gum disease or inflammation. If you’re due for X-rays, your dental hygienist will take care of those for you towards the beginning of your appointment.

Removing Buildup

Plaque and tartar build up in hard-to-reach places of your mouth, even with diligent brushing and flossing. Your dental hygienist will remove any buildup around the gumline using a scaler. This will involve some light scraping. Depending on how much buildup you have, your dental hygienist might recommend you use an electric toothbrush or floss pick for a deeper and more effective clean.

Cleaning & Polish

Next, your hygienist will brush your teeth with a powerful electric toothbrush and professional-grade polishing toothpaste. This toothpaste is gritty in texture and should only be used on your teeth sparingly. Twice a year for your dental cleanings and examinations is totally safe! After that, your hygienist will follow up with a thorough flossing.


To finish off your dental cleaning, your hygienist may administer a fluoride treatment to help ward off any cavity-causing bacteria. This treatment is effective for a few months and will tide you over until your next cleaning. The fluoride treatment usually consists of having a mouthpiece with flavored gel placed over your teeth for just a minute. This is followed up with a fluoride varnish that is applied to your teeth with a brush. You are free to eat and drink immediately after your treatment, since the fluoride hardens to your teeth when it comes in contact with your saliva.

Professional, Affordable Dental Care in Leesburg, VA

In need of a regular dental cleaning, or perhaps dreaming of a smile makeover? Leesburg Family Dental offers a range of treatments fit for any smile and budget. Contact us to schedule an appointment!

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