Elk Grove Smile Center

What Happens During a Dental Cleaning?

November 30, 2016
Posted By: Dr. Vishal Advani
Dental Cleaning | Elk Grove Village

You’re called back into the office by your dental hygienist… but what happens then?

Chances are, you’ve had a dental cleaning before since they are a crucial part of family dentistry at our Elk Grove Village dental office, but it might be a mystery what exactly is being done while you sit patiently in the chair with your mouth open.

We’d like to take a moment to “demystify” the process. Many patients express their worries and anxiety when it comes to dental care, including routine procedures like dental cleanings, and we’ve found that knowing what to expect often helps relieve some of that worry so you can have a better experience.

Examination and Evaluation

Your cleaning is an important part of your preventive care routine, and one of the reasons for this is the examination that takes place. Your hygienist will carefully examine your gums for any signs of gum disease or other issues. If an issue is detected, Dr. Advani will be notified so that we can determine the most appropriate course of action.

Plaque and tartar removal

This is the “main event” when it comes to your cleaning! Depending on your needs, we may start with an ultrasonic scaler or manual instruments to remove the build-up from your teeth. An ultrasonic scaler knocks off bigger pieces of plaque and tartar while manual instruments allow for finer close-up work. Sometimes the scaler tickles a little, but it doesn’t hurt. If you have sensitive teeth, we can take extra steps to make sure your cleaning is comfortable.


We’ll finish up with a flavored gritty polish and a high-speed brush. This brush makes a high-pitched noise that some patients don’t like, and if it bothers you, let us know so we can find a solution (like headphones or another distraction). The polish gives you a deep clean and wonderfully smooth teeth that feels so good after a cleaning!


Before you’re done, your hygienist will expertly floss your teeth to make sure absolutely no traces are left behind in the spaces between your teeth and just below the gumline. If you need a refresher on good brushing and flossing technique, this is also a great time for a hands-on demonstration!


The final step is to paint your teeth with a fluoride varnish. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps keep your enamel healthy and protects your teeth from cavities. While you can eat and drink soon after your appointment, avoid foods and beverages that are particularly hot or crunchy since these can wear away the varnish early.

Dental Cleanings in Elk Grove Village IL

Are you due for a cleaning? Give us a call at (847) 437-3250 to schedule your next visit!