How to Get Your Teeth Clean Before the Dentist

You might be diligent as far as your oral hygiene goes, but even the most frequent flosser forgets every now and again. Of course, you may not even think about the quality of your dental hygiene until it comes time for your scheduled dental visit. You'll want to put your best smile forward when you see your dentist, so whether you're a habitual brusher or you've been known to skip a session, knowing how to get your teeth clean before the dentist ensures the best checkup possible. Use these techniques and your dentist and dental hygienist are sure to be impressed.

Proper Brushing

Brushing your teeth is one thing, but brushing them properly gives you completely different results and clean teeth for your checkup. A quick once-over with your toothbrush won't cut it, so schedule a little extra time to give your smile the attention it deserves. According to the American Dental Association, this is the proper way to deep clean your teeth:

  1. Squeeze a strip of toothpaste onto a soft-bristled brush. Avoid using hard-bristled brushes, which can be too abrasive and damage tooth enamel.
  2. Start with the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, beginning at your gumline. Gently brush your gums back and forth before moving up the surface of your teeth.
  3. Focus first on the outside of your teeth, and then make sure to clean the backsides, as well.
  4. Target the front of your teeth by brushing vertically to remove plaque at all angles.
  5. Reach back and brush all sides of each of your molars, making sure to brush all the way to the back of your mouth.


Once you've finished brushing your teeth, make sure to floss. Brushing is great, but can leave food particles and plaque stuck in the small spaces between teeth. To really impress your dentist, start by stretching a piece of floss between two fingers and winding the floss around your pointer fingers for a secure hold. Starting between your back two bottom teeth, gently slide the floss down between each space and then tug upward to remove the floss and debris. Continue the process toward the front of your mouth and then switch to your top teeth until every space has been properly cleaned.


Finally, put the finishing touch on your deep cleaning by swishing with a mouthwash to rinse and disinfect your mouth. It'll remove any lingering bacteria and ensure that you have fresh breath for your checkup. Pour a small amount in a small cup and swish it forcefully between your teeth and around your mouth for about 60 seconds. Spit out the mouthwash and you're ready for your dental closeup.

Visiting the dentist should be anything but nerve-wracking, but if your oral hygiene has been less than exemplary, you might be feeling a little nervous. By knowing how to get your teeth clean before the dentist, you can be sure that you'll have the best appointment possible. A deep clean is the key to smiling all the way through your appointment and is the perfect way to renew your commitment to good oral hygiene.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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What To Expect During a DENTAL VISIT

On your first visit, your dentist will take a full health history. On follow-up visits, if your health status has changed, make sure to tell your dentist. Here’s what you can expect during most trips to the dentist.

  • A Thorough Cleaning – a dental hygienist or dentist will scrape along and below the gum line to remove built-up plaque and tartar that can cause gum disease, cavities, bad breath and other problems. Then he or she will polish and floss your teeth.

  • A Full Dental Examination – your dentist will perform a thorough examination of your teeth, gums and mouth, looking for signs of disease or other problems.

  • X-Rays – X-rays can diagnose problems otherwise unnoticed, such as damage to jawbones, impacted teeth, abscesses, cysts or tumors, and decay between the teeth.