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What Happens During a Teeth Cleaning?

Even if you brush and floss regularly, teeth cleaning is an important element of your oral health that should not be skipped. Professional teeth cleaning will help ensure that you don’t have plaque, bacteria buildup, or discoloration.

Here at North Pointe Dental Associates, home to some of the best dentists in Tampa, we take great pride in the smiles of our patients. Throughout the years, we have heard several misconceptions and myths among our patients when it comes to teeth cleaning. To prevent misinformation, we are sharing everything you need to know about what happens during the procedure and what you can expect when scheduling your teeth cleaning appointment.

Physical exam

Teeth cleaning is usually performed by a dental hygienist and the first step is a physical exam of your entire mouth. This individual will use a small mirror to check your teeth and gums for any signs of inflammation to make sure they can proceed. At this point, the hygienist will discuss any other issues that need to be addressed, such as cavities or tooth decay.

What Happens During a Teeth Cleaning

Plaque removal

As all dentists in Tampa will inform you, there is no way of avoiding plaque and tartar. What patients can prevent is unnecessary buildup. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on your teeth. If left untreated, it can turn into tartar which is much more difficult to remove. While plaque is natural, you can develop more plaque than usual if you smoke, have a dry mouth, or consume a lot of starchy and sugary foods.

Cleaning with a gritty toothpaste

Once plaque and tartar are removed, your dentist will clean your teeth using a gritty toothpaste. This should only be done by a professional because it can damage your enamel if not performed correctly. Keep in mind that this type of toothpaste should not be used more than twice a year.


You might think it is unnecessary, but having your teeth flossed by a professional is the best way to remove any remaining plaque you might have missed while flossing. This will also remove any remaining gritty toothpaste.

What Happens During a Teeth Cleaning

Fluoride treatment

The final step is applying fluoride in the form of a foamy gel. Fluoride will protect your teeth for several months after the procedure. Using a mouthpiece, the hygienist will leave the fluoride for a minute and then apply varnish. The good news is that varnish hardens once in contact with saliva, so you can drink and eat after the procedure.

Protecting your smile

Protecting your pearly whites is a rewarding investment. Your smile leaves a lasting impression, and it can greatly affect your confidence. In addition to teeth whitening, teeth cleaning is another way to ensure that your smile leaves a great impression. So, what happens during a teeth cleaning? Everything happens in the procedure just to protect your smile.

Schedule your appointment today!

Call us at (813) 961-1727 to schedule your next visit. Our friendly personnel will answer all your questions and make sure you smile with confidence.


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