What Happens during an In-Office Teeth Cleaning?

In-office teeth cleanings - Boulder Dentist - Adler Advanced Dentistry No one looks forward to their biannual teeth cleanings at their dentist’s office. While this process is simple and painless, it is still met with annoyance or apprehension by many patients. However, it’s important to understand that these in-office professional teeth cleanings are an integral component to your oral hygiene regimen, and they play an important role in avoiding serious oral health issues such as tooth decay or gum disease.

By understanding what occurs during these dental checkups and cleanings, you may reduce your anxiety over these visits, allowing you to more easily enjoy the oral health benefits they provide:

  • Physical exam — Your checkup begins with a physical exam of your mouth. Dr. Adler’s hygienist uses a small mirror to evaluate your teeth and gums for signs of decay or inflammation. On occasion, x-rays will be taken to get a clearer picture of the condition of your teeth and gums. If any issues are identified, Dr. Adler will be consulted to determine the proper treatment plan before moving forward with the rest of the cleaning.
  • Plaque and tartar removal — Our hygienist uses a tool called a scaler to remove any plaque and tartar that has accumulated on your teeth, between your teeth and near the gum line. You will hear scraping noises during this process, but that shouldn’t be cause for concern. It’s the only way to remove the plaque and tartar which has hardened along your teeth and gums.
  • Toothpaste cleaning — Once all plaque and tartar has been removed, our hygienist will apply toothpaste using a high-powered electric brush. This toothpaste has a grittier consistency than the products you use when brushing at home every day. This allows the toothpaste to more effectively scrub your teeth and eliminate any tartar still remaining after the scaling.
  • Flossing — Your professional flossing is an important way to remove any additional plaque or toothpaste remaining in your mouth. In addition, it’s easier for our hygienist to target the difficult-to-reach areas in the back of your mouth than it is for you to do so at home.
  • Rinse — At this point, you’re ready to rinse your mouth to make sure it is free of debris.
  • Fluoride treatment — Your fluoride treatment will provide additional protection from decay.

Remember, it’s important to visit Dr. Adler at our Boulder dental office twice a year for these teeth cleanings. This is the most effective way to maintain optimal levels of oral health, and it enables Dr. Adler to identify any dental issues in their earliest stages, allowing for a more conservative and cost-effective treatment plan.

Please contact Adler Advanced Dentistry using the form on this page or call today to schedule a dental checkup and teeth cleaning. We serve patients in Boulder, Denver and throughout the Front Range of Colorado.


Tuesday: 8 AM – 12 PM and 1 PM – 5 PM
Wednesday: 9 AM – 1 PM and 2 PM – 6 PM
Thursday & Friday: 8 AM – 12 PM and 1 PM – 5 PM

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