All About Dental Cleanings

preparing for a dental visit

Brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and flossing once a day are certainly important steps to keeping your smile beautiful, but it’s also important to schedule professional dental cleanings and checkups every six months. Our Lake Forest dentist Dr. James Fondriest wants you to know the benefits of regular dental preventative care examinations and how they can improve your oral health.

Nip Potential Problems in the Bud

Regular exams allow your dentist to monitor your oral health. Dr. Fondriest can recognize any changes in your mouth and detect problems early. Treating cavities and gum disease in their early stages can preclude more complicated treatments, such as root canals or gum surgery.

Oral Cancer

With oral cancer, early detection is key. Every year, more than 30,000 Americans are diagnosed with cancer of the oral cavity, including the mouth, lips, or throat. When detected and treated early, oral cancer has a relatively successful treatment rate.

Lower Your Risk for Heart Disease

Gum disease has been linked to increased risk of heart disease and stroke. The current thought is that the same inflammation of the gums, when bacteria reach the arteries, can cause arteries to harden and narrow. Researchers have discovered that people who have healthy gums how a lower occurrence of gum disease. Both the American Heart Association and the American Dental Association have acknowledged that there is a relationship between gum disease and heart disease. 

Mouth and Body

Because total-body health is closely related to oral health, regular checkups and cleanings can help ensure your whole-body wellness. Studies have shown that keeping your mouth free of gum disease and tooth decay can reduce your risk for other problems, such as diabetes.

Brighten Your Smile

Regular cleanings have a cosmetic effect, too. A hygienist can remove most surface stains from your teeth, including coffee, tea, and tobacco stains. Tartar is often darker in color than tooth enamel and can be seen when you smile. 

Types of Dental Cleanings

Deep Cleanings

Around half of adults in the United States have some form of gum disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Mild forms of gum disease are distinguished by tender and swollen gums. Individuals with gingivitis may notice that their gums are more prone to bleeding. Mild forms of gum disease can typically be addressed using professional dental cleanings and good oral hygiene habits. 

If you have moderate to advanced gum disease, also called periodontal disease, your dentist might recommend a more intensive cleaning called scaling and root planing. Scaling involves the removal of plaque and tartar from below the gum line. A hygienist can use manual instruments to scale plaque from the teeth or ultrasonic scaling instruments with a vibrating metal tip that removes plaque. Root planing involves smoothing of the root surface to prevent the return of gum disease. 

Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss. Left untreated, gum tissue will eventually pull away from the tooth surface. This can expose the root of your teeth to advanced decay. Once you have undergone deep cleanings at our office, you can maintain your healthier gums by brushing twice a day, flossing, and using a hygienic mouthwash. 

Regular Cleanings and Exams

During your cleaning, Dr. Fondriest or one of our experienced hygienists will use a  special tool to remove plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth. This removes the hardened biofilm that cannot be removed with brushing alone. Plaque continually builds on the surface of your teeth and eventually hardens into tartar. Once the cleaning is complete, a rotary device will polish the surface of your teeth using a gritty paste. This step removes any remaining surface stains.

Cleanings are often done in conjunction with exams. Dr. Fondriest may inquire if you have had any oral pain or symptoms that need addressing. Exams are typically completed using a gloved hand. X-rays or other digital images may be taken as well. 

Other Benefits of Dental Cleanings

Patients who undergo dental cleanings can benefit from:

  • Treatment of bad breath
  • A more attractive smile
  • Prevention of cavities and other dental problems
  • Early treatment of tooth decay before large cavities form
  • Cost savings by preventing further costs
  • Protection of enamel
  • A short office visit of less than one hour

We invite you to schedule your dental cleaning an appointment

Dental cleanings are often covered by dental insurance plans. In addition to general dentistry services, such as cleanings and checkups, Dr. Fondriest offers a variety of cosmetic services, including gum lifts, porcelain veneers, and home bleaching and whitening kits. To learn more about getting your best smile, contact us at (847) 234-0517. Our practice mostly serves the Chicago metropolitan area including the North Shore and Northwest suburbs, but we often get patients from all over the United States.

Dr Fondriest is a Nationally recognized and highly sought after cosmetic dentist serving clients from throughout the United States