How Do Dental Hygienists Clean Your Teeth?

teeth cleaning in Lexington KentuckyDental hygienists have over a dozen tools at their disposal to perform a professional teeth cleaning. How many of them can you name? Dr. Doyle Freano Jr. is a Lexington, KY dentist leading a team of talented, experienced hygienists who are dedicated to your oral health. Learn more about the tools we use to help clean your teeth.

Dental Hygienist Tools


You might be surprised to learn that out of all of the tools on the tray next to the chair, a little round mirror is the most important one. The mirror allows the hygienist to see your teeth from multiple angles to use the other tools effectively.


These small hooks are used to check gum health and measure depth of the gum around the tooth. Different sized probes detect specific oral health issues.


This is that tool you probably wish we had to use less — the scaler is what the hygienist uses to scrape away tartar and plaque. It’s important to remove built-up plaque to avoid tooth decay.


A hygienist uses a curette to scrape tartar from beneath the gum line. It removes dental calculus, which is a hard deposit at the base of the teeth that extends below the gums.


This tool is what we use at the end of your cleaning to make your teeth shiny and bright. This removes surface level stains and makes teeth smooth after being scaled.


Your hygienist likely uses a suction tool to remove saliva from the mouth while your teeth are cleaned. This eliminates the need for you to spit over a sink and helps us keep your teeth dry when necessary, such as during a filling procedure.

Taking Care of Your Oral Health in Lexington, KY

Scheduling regular dental exams offers you the opportunity to have your teeth professionally cleaned and examined to keep tooth decay at bay. These visits, paired with your at-home oral hygiene routine, can help prevent further problems like cavities, tooth discoloration, gum disease, and more. To schedule your appointment with Dr. Freano’s team, call us at 859.554.1586 or schedule an appointment online today.