Exams, X-Rays and cleanings

Open wide and say Hola to regular exams and cleanings

Want to know a secret? If you want to see the dentist as little as possible—and save as much as you can on dental care — come see us every six months. That goes for kids, too!

Meet your teeth's new best friend: your Dental Hygienist!

Our dental hygienists are experts in all things teeth, who lead the battle against tooth decay and gum disease. More importantly, they are caring, gentle and thorough. They take the time to get to know you, your teeth and your overall health.

Hygienists: The heart of your Dental Home

We structure our care so it works like a Dental Home — all the dental services you and your family need in one place. We couldn't do it without our dental hygienists. Hygienists are often the first to notice a problem, and when they do, they help coordinate more advanced care from a dentist or specialist.

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Routine Dental Care Basics

Dental exams

At every check-up your hygienist (or dentist) will check every tooth, plus your gums, tongue and cheeks. Healthy teeth depend on a healthy mouth. Your dentist will check all of the structures and surfaces in your mouth for cavities, signs of gum disease, infections and other possible health problems.

Get a peek at your general health

You mouth can show signs that indicate more serious health concerns like heart disease and diabetes. Some cancers create sores and lesions under the tongue and in the folds of the cheek. That’s why your dentist doesn't stop with your teeth. They'll look under your tongue, in your cheek, and at your tonsils and throat.

If your dentist sees something that concerns her, she’ll tell you about it and explain what it may mean. She may refer you to a dental specialist or your doctor.

If your dentist refers you to another medical professional for any reason, please follow through. Many problems have much better outcomes if you get help early.

Dental cleanings

Your hygienist will clean along and below the gum line with an ultra-sonic tool or a dental scraper to remove built-up plaque and tartar. Once all the tartar and plaque are gone, you'll get a tooth polishing and a good flossing.

Most people need a dental cleaning every six months, but some people need them more often. People who build up tartar quickly, have Type II diabetes, or have gum disease may need to see the hygienist three or four times a year.

Get X-Rays once a year

Modern, digital X-Ray machines use a low dose of radiation to capture detailed images of your mouth’s structure. X-Rays help your dentist see problems like infections, cavities between teeth, impacted wisdom teeth and much more.

Once a year is a typical schedule for adults, although your dentist may recommend X-Rays more or less often.

In between check-ups is on you

Brush your teeth at least twice a day to break up tartar so it doesn't become plaque. Floss at least once a day to break up bacteria between teeth that your brush can’t reach. Make sure you use fluoride toothpaste to strengthen your teeth’s enamel so they can stand up to plaque. A fluoride rinse is a good idea, too.

Twice a year is a must for kids!

Kids need to have their teeth cleaned and checked, just like grown ups. That includes baby teeth. Healthy baby teeth lead to healthy adult teeth. So bring those babies in when they cut their first tooth or their first birthday, whichever comes first.

Learn about kid's teeth

What is dental plaque?

Your mouth is filled with bacteria, and they love to eat the sugary carbohydrates left in your teeth after a meal. While they munch away, they multiply super fast and release acids that eat away at your teeth.

Left alone, those bacteria will create a sticky film of tooth-eating, gum-irritating plaque.

What is dental tartar?

Over time plaque will harden into tartar. Tartar is bad stuff. First, it will make your gums swollen, a condition called gingivitis. Left alone it can cause permanent gum and bone damage.

You can’t get tartar off with a toothbrush or floss. Only a thorough dental cleaning can remove it.

How do you prevent plaque and tartar buildup?

Regular brushing and flossing helps keep the bacteria from building up and damaging your teeth and gums. Over time, tartar will start to form with even the best brushers and flossers. That’s why you should schedule a cleaning every six months.