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In addition to taking care of your teeth at home, professional care and cleanings are essential to achieving and maintaining good oral health. The general guidance from the American Dental Association recommends that healthy adults and children visit the dentist at least twice a year for a dental exam and professional teeth cleaning. But why are these preventative visits to the dental office so important?

Because a professional teeth cleaning benefits you greatly.

The Importance of Professional Teeth Cleaning

Preventative Care

Paired with good at-home oral hygiene, professional teeth cleanings are intended to prevent oral health problems from developing. Routine dental cleanings help to protect your teeth from tooth decay and periodontal disease (gum disease) in addition to a variety of other oral health problems.

Better General Health

Heightened levels of harmful bacteria and inflammation associated with periodontal disease are correlated with several systemic health problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory infections, rheumatoid arthritis, certain cancers, dementia, reproductive health troubles, and more.
By preserving your oral health, you are also protecting your general health.

Early Detection of Oral Health Problems

An estimated 13% of children and 25% of adults have untreated dental caries (dental cavities), and 46% of adults over the age of 30 have signs of gingivitis (the first stage of periodontal disease). 

Caught in their earliest stages (respectively, soft spots and gingivitis) tooth decay and periodontal disease can be reversed. Left untreated, these oral health issues advance to cavities and stage 2 periodontal disease, which are not reversible.
Routine dental appointments help ensure the early detection of these common oral health problems so that they can be addressed and treated promptly and much more effectively.

Money Savings

Professional dental cleanings save money in the long run. For every dollar you invest in preventive dental care (like professional dental cleanings), you stand to save an estimated $8 to $50 dollars on emergency care and restorative dental treatments which are often much more extensive, invasive, and costly. 

Plus, you’ll save yourself from suffering the painful symptoms of advanced dental health problems. 

What Happens During a Dental Cleaning Appointment at our Elgin Dental Practice?

A preventative dental cleaning appointment with a dental hygienist typically precedes an examination with our dentist. 

During a teeth cleaning, our hygienist uses special dental instruments to scale and polish the surfaces of the patient’s teeth. Scaling involves using tools to gently scrape away accumulated plaque and tartar (calculus) from the tooth enamel. Polishing uses a gritty paste and polishing tool to further break up calculus while also lifting stains from the teeth.
Throughout this process, our hygienist pays close attention to the patient’s gums, looking for potential signs of gingivitis or periodontal disease. These signs include gums that are red, swollen, or bleed easily in addition to gums that have deep pockets or significant recession.
If any signs of gingivitis are present, our hygienist will inform the dentist for a more formal evaluation and diagnosis.

Removing Plaque and Tartar: Preventing Dental Issues

Despite brushing and flossing, the biofilm called plaque hardens on the surfaces of the teeth, leading to a buildup of tartar. The removal of this calculus during a professional teeth cleaning keeps your teeth and gums healthy.
Without routine scaling and polishing, tartar continues to accumulate on the surfaces of the teeth. This makes the teeth more difficult to clean, leads bacteria to cling to the surfaces of teeth, and creates pockets between the teeth and gums where harmful bacteria thrive.
Left to accumulate, tartar significantly increases the risk of periodontal disease and tooth decay.
In addition to scaling and polishing the teeth, a routine dental exam might also include a professional application of fluoride to strengthen tooth enamel and the application of dental sealants to protect the chewing surfaces of the molars.

Advice for Maintaining Freshly Cleaned Teeth at Home

Between professional dental cleanings, patients can practice thorough oral hygiene habits at home to maintain their clean teeth and good oral health. 

We recommend:

  • Brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day

  • Flossing at least once a day

  • Using good brushing techniques such as holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the teeth

  • Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, gentle pressure, and toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association

You might also consider adding an alcohol-free, antibacterial mouthwash to your daily routine. Additionally, consider using a water flosser to clean more thoroughly between your teeth and around any orthodontia or dental prosthetics you might have. 

Preventative Care at Bright Valley Dental

At Bright Valley Dental, we provide our patients with comprehensive preventative dental care. In addition to professional teeth cleanings and examinations, we offer in-office fluoride treatments, dental sealants, patient education, and personalized at-home oral hygiene guidance and recommendations. We design all of our care to address each patient’s individual needs and concerns. 

To learn more about the importance of preventative dental care or to schedule your next dental cleaning and examination, we welcome you to contact our dental office Elgin, Illinois today. 


Dental implants can last 15 to 20 years or even longer with proper care and maintenance.

The dental implant procedure is performed by providing local anesthesia, which minimizes the discomfort during the process. Some soreness or discomfort may occur during the healing period, but it can be managed with pain medication.

While many individuals are candidates for dental implants, a thorough evaluation by a dentist or oral surgeon is necessary to determine suitability. Factors like overall health, jawbone density, and oral hygiene habits may influence candidacy.

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