What Happens During a Routine Teeth Cleaning?

Teeth Cleaning Dentist Grand Rapids, MI

The American Dental Association recommends routine teeth cleanings in order to maintain good oral health for years to come.

At the NorthPointe Family Dental and Implant Center, we do more than just remove plaque when you come in for a visit. We also take steps to make sure you’re on the right path for your oral health.

Here’s what you can expect during your next routine teeth cleaning.

Before Your Appointment

When you come to our office, make your way to the front desk so we’re aware you’ve arrived. Our front desk staff may ask you to confirm your phone number and address to ensure that we have your most current contact information on file. We may also ask you if there have been any changes to your medical history or dental insurance since your last visit with us.

When the time for your appointment arrives, one of our dental hygienists will call your name and you will follow them to the room where you will receive your teeth cleaning.

Initial Oral Examination

Once you are situated, the hygienist will do an initial examination of your teeth and gums to gauge their health. They will use a small mirror to check every nook and cranny of your mouth.

If they notice a major issue, such as symptoms of oral cancer, they may flag down Dr. Yun to determine if you need additional dental care before proceeding.

Plaque Removal

Your hygienist will use a dental tool called a scaler to gently scrape away plaque from the surface of your teeth. This step is important because plaque can develop into tartar, which is harder to remove.

Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth and gums, potentially causing bad breath, yellow teeth, gum disease, and tooth decay. Removing built-up plaque and tartar is your best defense against future cavities.

Teeth Brushing

Your hygienist will ask you what flavor toothpaste you prefer before brushing your teeth. We use a special electric toothbrush that helps remove any remaining debris from the previous plaque and tartar removal phase. You will find that the toothpaste has a gritty texture, which is meant to polish your teeth.


The hygienist will floss between your teeth to ensure that all debris is cleared from your smile. Flossing is also a great habit to start if you haven’t been doing it already. We recommend that you floss at least once a day to maintain a healthy smile and prevent gum disease.


If you’re at the rinsing phase, you’re almost done with your teeth cleaning appointment! After the hygienist rinses your teeth and gums, just sit tight until Dr. Yun comes to do the final inspection of your gums and teeth.

Final Exam by Dentist

Our dentist will provide that last stamp of approval before we send you on your way. He will use his knowledge and experience to check your mouth for any issues.

If an oral health concern was discovered during the course of your teeth cleaning, Dr. Yun will further explain the issue and discuss possible solutions.

Scheduling Your Next Appointment

After your teeth cleaning, you will be prompted to schedule your next appointment with us, which will be 6 months out. It is important to schedule your appointment not a day earlier than this 6-month mark so that your insurance company will cover your future dental cleaning.


At the very end, we will print out your bill and discuss how much your insurance covered and how much you owe us for the teeth cleaning and any other services we provided. Most insurance companies recognize the value of preventive care and will cover most, if not all, of the cost of your dental cleaning.

Request an Appointment With Dr. Yun

Our Grand Rapids dentist knows that healthy teeth are a result of consistent healthy habits. We’re always happy to answer any questions you might have about how to take care of your pearly whites. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Suk Jun Yun, call the NorthPointe Family Dental and Implant Center at (616) 288-6134.

This blog post has been updated.