dental cleaning and exam

Dental Cleanings and Exams

The American Dental Association recommends that patients visit the dentist every 6 months for an exam and cleaning. This will help to monitor your oral health, as well as diagnose and treat any issues before they escalate into something more serious.

Dental cleanings and exams are part of the general and preventive services offered at Glow Up Dentistry. This will keep your oral health in tip-top shape by allowing us to diagnose and treat dental problems early. When left untreated, dental problems can escalate quickly, potentially leading to tooth loss and impacting your overall health.

Here’s what you need to know about dental cleanings and exams.

What Happens During a Professional Dental Cleaning and Exam?

Many people dread having their teeth cleaned for a variety of reasons. However, the process is quite simple and usually painless. When you know exactly what to expect, the thought of visiting the dentist for an exam and cleaning is much less stressful.


Most of the time, the dental hygienist will perform the cleaning, which begins with an examination of your mouth. The hygienist will use a small mirror to check around teeth and gums, looking for potential oral health concerns. If they identify any, they may call the dentist over for their opinion.

Plaque and Tartar Removal

Next, the hygienist will use a scaler to remove plaque and tartar buildup from along the gumline and between the teeth. You may hear some scraping and the more there is, the more scraping is needed. The best way to prevent this- or at least reduce it- is to brush and floss your teeth properly at home.


Once the plaque and tartar have been removed, the hygienist will brush your teeth with an electric toothbrush and gritty toothpaste. The grinding noise that the brush makes may sound scary, but it will provide a thorough clean and eliminate any tartar left behind from the previous step. The toothpaste smells and tastes like regular toothpaste.


If you floss regularly at home, you may feel like this step is pointless. However, it is necessary because the hygienist can get deep between your teeth and locate any trouble spots. In addition, it removes any plaque and/or toothpaste left behind from the previous steps.


Next, the hygienist will give you a fluoride rinse to get rid of any debris left behind from the previous steps.

Fluoride Application

The final step in the exam and cleaning process is to apply a fluoride treatment to your teeth. This will protect your teeth against cavities for the next several months. You will have a choice of flavors. Then, the gel or paste will be put into a mouthpiece that will fit over your teeth which will be left on for about a minute. In addition to this gel/paste, a varnish will be painted onto your teeth, which will harden right away. This will allow you to eat/drink immediately following your cleaning.

Additional Steps

While exams and cleanings are recommended every 6 months, x-rays are typically only done every 12 months. However, if the hygienist or dentist detects an issue, they may recommend x-rays at that time.

Other potential treatments offered during these visits include molar sealants for pediatric patients to prevent cavities in hard-to-reach areas.

Schedule Your Exam and Cleaning Appointment Today

Dental exams and cleanings are critical for ensuring good oral health. These visits allow the dentist to monitor your teeth for any potential issues and to treat them before they cause serious repercussions. Schedule your exam and cleaning with Glow Up Dentistry today. You can schedule your appointment by visiting the website or calling the office at (832) 685-8240.

We are located on Grand Parkway in Richmond. If you are anxious about visiting the dentist, our team will work with you to help you relax. In addition to routine exams and cleanings, we offer many other preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dental procedures for the entire family.

Dental Cleanings and Exams FAQs

Dental cleanings and exams are routine procedures. However, we understand that for some patients, dental visits in general trigger anxiety. The team at Glow Up Dentistry wants to make sure that patients are at ease when they visit, which is why they are happy to discuss any questions or concerns. Some of the most common questions we get about dental cleanings and exams include:

Patients who have fairly good oral hygiene practices can expect an exam and cleaning to take about 15 to 30 minutes. The entire appointment should take no longer than 45 minutes. However, patients who do not have good hygiene practices may require longer.

Most dental insurance providers will cover at least one cleaning per year and some will cover two cleanings a year. However, if you do not have insurance or if your insurance does not cover this service, the average cost is around $75 to $200. Additional or non-standard services may incur additional costs.

The technical term for deep dental cleaning is periodontal scaling and root planing. This will be recommended if you are showing signs of gum disease. Yes, this is a necessary treatment because, if left untreated, gum disease can lead to a variety of oral health issues including tooth loss.

According to the American Dental Association, you should visit the dentist every 6 months for an exam and cleaning. This allows the dentist to monitor your oral health and to diagnose and treat any issues early before they progress into something more serious.

If a fluoride treatment was included as part of your cleaning, you should wait at least 30 minutes to allow the fluoride to cure on your teeth. However, if you just received a standard cleaning without fluoride, you can eat right away. You will want to be cautious about what you eat though, as hot/cold foods may increase sensitivity and spicy/acidic foods may cause gum irritation.

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