What to Expect at Your Dental Checkup

dental procedure

What to Expect at Your Dental Checkup

If you have anxiety about going to the dentist for your regular cleanings, you’re not alone. Many people dread teeth cleanings. However, knowing what’s going to happen at your appointment can help ease your anxiety. At Prescott Dentistry, we have years of experience providing anxiety-free dental care. Here’s what you can expect when you visit us for a cleaning. 

The Dental Checkup Procedure

Physical Exam

Before the hygienist begins the actual cleaning process, they will take a few minutes to look over all of your teeth and perform an initial overview to identify any potential problems. Your hygienist will use a small mirror to check around all of your teeth and gums before proceeding with the cleaning. You may also get some X-rays taken to help identify any cavities or decay that might be lurking below the surface. You’ll typically need X-rays once each year.

Plaque and Tartar Removal

Following the physical examination, your dental hygienist will get to work removing the plaque and tartar on your teeth and around your gum line. They’ll use a tool called a scaler to effectively remove plaque and tartar buildup. This part will involve a bit of scraping, but should not be painful. 

If you hate having your teeth scraped, try to brush and floss more often at home. Regular brushing and flossing will remove plaque before it turns into tartar, so you don’t have to sit through a scraping. 


Once your dental hygienist has removed all of the tartar from your teeth, they will begin brushing or “polishing” your teeth with an electric toothbrush. This toothbrush makes an electronic whirring or grinding noise, and it’s not painful at all. The dental hygienist uses a gritty toothpaste to help get the teeth extra clean. The toothpaste should taste very similar to regular toothpaste.


After your teeth have been polished, it’s time to floss. While you may be an avid flosser at home, your dental hygienist is able to get even deeper between your gums and remove anything that you may have missed on your own.  

Examination by Your Dentist

Once your hygienist has finished making your mouth sparkling clean, your dentist will come in to perform an exam. They will check your teeth for any cavities or potential trouble spots, and discuss any concerns you might have about your teeth. If you’ve been experiencing any dental problems, now is the time to speak up and let your dentist know. 

After examining your teeth, your dentist might recommend a fluoride treatment, such as a fluoride varnish solution that helps protect against decay. Fluoride doesn’t taste great, but the application is completely painless. Fluoride varnish hardens when exposed to saliva, so you are free to eat and drink after it’s applied.

Is It Time to Schedule Your Next Dental Cleaning?

Now that you know what to expect during a dental checkup procedure, give Prescott Dentistry a call! We offer integrative, holistic dental medicine and biomimetic dentistry. We also offer consultations so you can get an idea of how our holistic approach to dentistry could benefit your specific health situation.


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