Dental Cleaning and Exams

Dental Cleaning and Exams

A dental cleaning, also known as prophylaxis, is a professional procedure performed by a dental hygienist or dentist. It involves the thorough removal of plaque, tartar (calculus), and stains from the teeth, particularly in areas that are difficult to reach with regular brushing and flossing. The cleaning process typically includes scaling to remove plaque and tartar buildup, followed by polishing to remove surface stains and smooth the tooth surfaces.

A dental exam, also known as a dental checkup or oral examination, is an evaluation of the overall oral health conducted by a dentist. During the exam, the dentist examines the teeth, gums, and other oral tissues for signs of decay, gum disease, oral cancer, and other abnormalities. The dentist may also assess the bite, jaw joint (TMJ), and the condition of existing dental restorations such as fillings, crowns, and bridges. X-rays or other diagnostic tests may also be taken to detect issues that are not visible to the naked eye, such as cavities between teeth or problems beneath the gumline. Based on the findings of the exam, the dentist may recommend treatment options or preventive measures to address any identified issues and maintain or improve oral health.

What Happens During a Dental Cleaning?

When you visit your dentist in Skokie, IL, for a dental cleaning, the process typically starts with a thorough examination of your teeth and gums. This allows the dental hygienist to identify any areas of concern that may need extra attention during the cleaning.

Next, the hygienist will use special tools to remove plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth. This is important because, even with regular brushing and flossing, there are often hard-to-reach areas where bacteria can accumulate. 

After scaling away the plaque and tartar, your teeth will be polished to remove surface stains and leave them looking smooth and shiny. The final step usually involves a fluoride treatment to strengthen your enamel and protect against cavities.

Getting a dental cleaning not only helps keep your smile looking bright but also plays a crucial role in maintaining good oral health. So don't skip those biannual appointments — your teeth will thank you! 

What Happens During a Dental Exam?

During a dental exam in Skokie, IL, your dentist will start by reviewing your medical history and discussing any concerns you may have. They will then perform a visual examination of your mouth, checking for signs of decay, gum disease, or other issues.

Next, the dentist will use special tools to check the health of your gums and measure any pockets that could indicate gum disease. X-rays may also be taken to assess the health of your teeth below the surface.

Your dentist will then thoroughly clean your teeth to remove plaque and tartar buildup. This process helps prevent cavities and gum disease.

They will then discuss their findings with you and recommend any necessary treatments or changes to improve your oral health. Regular dental exams are crucial for maintaining a healthy smile!

Tips for Maintaining Good Oral Health Between Cleanings

Maintaining good oral health between dental cleanings is crucial for preventing dental problems and promoting overall well-being. Here are some tips to help you keep your teeth and gums healthy between visits to the dentist:

  • Brush Twice Daily

Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes each time, at least twice a day, preferably in the morning and before bedtime. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle, circular motions to clean all tooth surfaces thoroughly.

  • Floss Daily

Flossing removes plaque and food particles from between the teeth and along the gumline, where toothbrush bristles cannot reach. Floss at least once a day to prevent cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.

  • Use Mouthwash

Rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash after brushing and flossing to help reduce plaque, fight bacteria, and freshen your breath. Choose a mouthwash that contains fluoride for added protection against cavities.

  • Eat a Balanced Diet

Consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, and limit sugary snacks and beverages. Avoid frequent snacking between meals, as it can increase the risk of tooth decay.

  • Drink Plenty of Water

Drink water throughout the day, especially after meals and snacks, to help rinse away food debris and neutralize acids in the mouth. Water also helps keep the mouth hydrated and promotes saliva production, which aids in oral health.

  • Limit Acidic and Staining Foods

Acidic foods and beverages can weaken tooth enamel and increase the risk of erosion and sensitivity. Limit consumption of acidic foods like citrus fruits and beverages like soda and sports drinks. Similarly, minimize intake of staining foods and drinks like coffee, tea, and red wine to prevent tooth discoloration.

  • Avoid Tobacco Products

Smoking and using tobacco products increase the risk of gum disease, oral cancer, tooth loss, and other serious dental problems. Quitting tobacco or never starting is essential for maintaining good oral health.

  • Protect Your Teeth

Wear a mouthguard during sports and physical activities to prevent dental injuries. Avoid using your teeth as tools to open packages or bite on hard objects like ice or pens, as this can lead to chipped or cracked teeth.

  • Schedule Regular Dental Checkups

Even if you maintain good oral hygiene at home, it's essential to visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings every six months. Dental professionals can detect and treat dental issues early before they escalate into more significant problems.

Benefits of Regular Dental Cleanings and Exams

Regular dental cleanings and exams can provide a multitude of benefits that go beyond just maintaining a bright smile. By having your teeth professionally cleaned regularly, you can prevent gum disease, cavities, and other oral health issues. These preventive measures not only save you money in the long run by avoiding costly treatments but also help in the early detection of potential problems. 

Moreover, dental cleanings can remove stubborn plaque and tartar buildup that cannot be removed by brushing alone, ensuring your teeth stay healthy and free from decay. Additionally, during these appointments, dentists can check for signs of oral cancer or other serious conditions that may otherwise go unnoticed.

Investing in regular dental cleanings and exams is an investment in your overall health and well-being. Making it a priority to visit your Skokie dentist for routine checkups can help you maintain optimal oral hygiene and catch any issues before they escalate into more significant problems. Call us to learn more.

How Often Should You Get a Dental Cleaning and Exam?

Maintaining good oral health is crucial for overall well-being. Regular dental cleanings and exams play a significant role in achieving this goal. But how often should you schedule these appointments?

For most people, dentists recommend getting a dental cleaning and exam every six months. This timeframe allows your dentist to catch any potential issues early and prevent them from escalating into more serious problems. 

However, some individuals may require more frequent visits based on their oral health needs. If you have gum disease, a weakened immune system, or a history of cavities, your dentist may suggest more frequent cleanings to keep your mouth healthy.

The best frequency for dental cleanings and exams depends on your unique oral health situation. Consult with your Skokie, IL, dentist to determine the optimal schedule that will keep your smile bright and healthy for years to come!


In Skokie, IL, dental cleaning and exams are essential for maintaining good oral health. By regularly visiting a Skokie, IL, dentist for cleanings and exams, you can prevent serious dental issues and keep your smile healthy and bright.

Remember, prevention is key when it comes to dental care. So don't wait until you have a toothache or other problem to see your dentist. Schedule your next dental cleaning and exam in Skokie, IL, today to keep your teeth in tip-top shape!

Experience the difference at Krueger Dental Associates! Discover personalized care, advanced treatments, and a commitment to your oral health. Schedule your appointment today at our Skokie, IL, location. Call us at (847) 328-1180 to take the first step towards a healthier, happier smile!

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