Dental Exams & Cleanings

Or call 540-886-1979


601 Greenville Avenue

Staunton, VA 24401

What to Expect at your Cleaning

If you wish to have strong and dependable oral health, Dr. Alan J. White & Dr. Jesse Myers strongly recommend coming into our office for a dental exam and cleaning on a regular schedule. No one is perfect at maintaining complete oral care. Even our dentists have their teeth professionally cleaned on a regular basis. You should too!

Food debris clings to tooth structure and if not quickly removed, will soon calcify, making it impossible to remove with a simple toothbrush. Your dental hygienist has specialized tools to remove these deposits and return your teeth to their natural state. This will result in whiter teeth, fresher breath and healthier gums!

If you’re confused by all of the claims by dental care products, we also have oral care products for purchase that we highly recommend 

To schedule your next dental exam and cleaning, call our office today or book online!

Comprehensive Guide to Dental Exams & Cleanings:

Everything You Need to Know

What happens during a routine dental cleaning and exam?

A routine dental cleaning and exam, often referred to as a dental check-up, is a crucial part of maintaining optimal oral health. It typically involves several steps and serves multiple purposes:

  • Medical History Review: Before the cleaning and examination, your dentist or dental hygienist will review your medical history to be aware of any underlying health conditions or medications that may affect your oral health or the treatment approach.
  • Visual Examination: The dental professional will begin with a visual examination of your mouth, including your teeth, gums, tongue, and the soft tissues of your mouth. They will look for signs of any oral health issues, such as cavities, gum disease, or oral cancer.
  • Dental X-Rays (if needed): Depending on your oral health history and the dentist's assessment, X-rays may be taken to get a more detailed view of your teeth and jawbone. These X-rays can help identify issues that may not be visible during the visual examination, such as hidden cavities or bone loss.
  • Plaque and Tartar Removal: Dental hygienists use special instruments to remove plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) from your teeth and along the gumline. This process, called scaling, is essential for preventing gum disease and tooth decay.
  • Teeth Polishing: After scaling, your teeth will be polished to remove stains and create a smooth surface. Polishing can also make it more difficult for plaque to adhere to your teeth.
  • Flossing: The dental hygienist will floss your teeth to ensure that any remaining debris or plaque between teeth is removed.
  • Oral Hygiene Education: Your dental professional will provide guidance on proper oral hygiene practices, including brushing and flossing techniques. They may recommend specific products or tools tailored to your needs.
  • Discussion of Findings: After the cleaning and examination, your dentist or dental hygienist will discuss their findings with you. They will explain any issues they've identified, recommend treatment options if necessary, and provide advice on how to maintain or improve your oral health.
  • Treatment Planning: If any dental issues are identified, a treatment plan will be developed. This plan may include scheduling follow-up appointments for procedures like fillings, root canals, or extractions if needed.
  • Scheduling Next Appointment: Before you leave, you'll typically schedule your next routine dental cleaning and examination, which is usually recommended every six months. However, the frequency may vary based on your individual oral health needs.

A routine dental cleaning and exam are essential for preventing oral health problems, detecting issues early when they are more manageable, and maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile. Regular dental check-ups are a proactive way to ensure that your oral health remains in top condition, and they play a crucial role in preventing more extensive and costly dental procedures in the future.

Is Teeth Cleaning Painful or Uncomfortable?

Teeth cleaning is typically not painful, and many people find it to be a comfortable and routine procedure. However, individual experiences may vary depending on factors such as sensitivity, oral health, and personal preferences. Though most individuals do not experience pain during a routine teeth cleaning, if you happen to be someone who does experience pain during a cleaning, it's essential to communicate with your dental professional if you have any concerns. They can adjust their technique or use desensitizing agents if needed.

If you have particularly sensitive teeth or gums, you can discuss this with your dental hygienist or dentist before the cleaning. They will take extra precautions or recommend products to minimize discomfort. Overall, dental cleanings are essential for maintaining oral health and preventing dental issues, so any mild discomfort experienced during the process is typically well worth the benefits of a healthy smile.

What can I do to prepare for a dental cleaning appointment?

Preparing for a dental cleaning appointment is relatively straightforward and can help ensure a smooth and productive visit. Here are some steps you can take to prepare:

  • Review Your Medical History: Be ready to provide updated information about your medical history, including any changes in medications, underlying health conditions, or recent surgeries. This information can be crucial for your dentist in understanding your overall health and any potential interactions with dental treatments.
  • Update Contact Information: Confirm that the dental office has your current contact information, including phone number and address, to reach you in case of any scheduling changes or emergencies.
  • Brush and Floss: While you don't need to thoroughly clean your teeth before a cleaning appointment, it's a good idea to brush and floss your teeth as you normally would. This ensures that the dental hygienist can focus on removing plaque and tartar buildup rather than loose food particles.
  • Arrive Early: Plan to arrive a few minutes early for your appointment to complete any necessary paperwork and provide insurance information if required.
  • Bring Insurance Information: If you have dental insurance, bring your insurance card and any necessary documentation. This will help streamline the billing process.
  • Prepare Questions: If you have specific questions or concerns about your oral health, jot them down so you remember to discuss them with your dentist or dental hygienist during the appointment.
  • Inform About Changes: If you've experienced changes in your oral health, such as sensitivity, pain, or unusual symptoms, be sure to inform your dental professional. This information can help them tailor the cleaning and examination to your needs.
  • Comfort Items: If you experience anxiety or discomfort during dental visits, consider bringing comfort items like headphones, music, or stress-reduction techniques to help you relax during the appointment.
  • Medications: If you take any medications, continue to take them as prescribed unless your dentist advises otherwise. Bring a list of your current medications to the appointment.
  • Childcare: If you're bringing children to their dental cleaning appointments, ensure that they are adequately prepared and informed about the visit to reduce anxiety.

What are the Benefits of Regular Dental Cleanings and Exams for my Oral Health?

Regular dental cleanings and exams offer a wide range of benefits for your oral health, as well as your overall well-being. Here are some key advantages of maintaining a schedule of routine dental check-ups:

  • Preventive Care: Dental cleanings and exams are primarily focused on preventing dental issues. Dental professionals can detect and address potential problems early, such as cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer, before they become more serious and require extensive treatment.
  • Plaque and Tartar Removal: Professional dental cleanings remove plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth and along the gumline. This helps reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, promoting healthier teeth and gums.
  • Improved Oral Hygiene: Dental professionals provide guidance on proper oral hygiene practices, including brushing and flossing techniques tailored to your specific needs. This education helps you maintain good oral hygiene at home.
  • Early Detection of Oral Cancer: Dental exams include a visual inspection of the oral tissues, which can help identify early signs of oral cancer. Early detection is crucial for successful treatment.
  • X-Ray Diagnostics: X-rays, when necessary, provide a more detailed view of your oral structures. They can reveal hidden issues, such as cavities between teeth, bone loss, or impacted teeth.
  • Customized Care: Dental professionals tailor their recommendations and treatment plans to your individual oral health needs, ensuring that you receive personalized care.
  • Preventive Treatments: Dentists may recommend preventive treatments such as dental sealants to further protect your teeth from decay.
  • Maintaining Fresh Breath: Dental cleanings remove bacteria and debris from your mouth, helping to improve breath odor and maintain fresh breath.
  • Gum Disease Management: For individuals with gum disease, regular cleanings are crucial for managing the condition and preventing it from progressing to more severe stages.
  • Preserving Natural Teeth: By addressing dental issues promptly, routine dental care helps preserve your natural teeth, reducing the need for extractions or extensive restorative treatments.
  • Overall Health: Emerging research suggests a link between oral health and overall health. Regular dental care may contribute to better overall well-being by reducing the risk of systemic health issues associated with oral infections and inflammation.
  • Cost Savings: Preventive care is typically less expensive than treating advanced dental problems. Regular cleanings and exams can help you avoid costly dental procedures in the future.

In summary, regular dental cleanings and exams are essential for maintaining optimal oral health, preventing dental issues, and preserving your natural teeth. By investing in preventive care, you can enjoy a healthier smile, better overall well-being, and potential cost savings in the long run.

What are the Signs of Needing a Deep Cleaning (Scaling and Root Planing) Instead of a Regular Cleaning?

A deep cleaning, known as scaling and root planing, is typically recommended when certain signs and conditions indicate a need for more intensive periodontal care. Signs that may suggest you require a deep cleaning instead of a regular cleaning include:

  • Gum Disease Symptoms: If you have symptoms of gum disease, such as red, swollen, or bleeding gums, persistent bad breath, or pockets forming between your gums and teeth, a deep cleaning may be necessary.
  • Visible Tartar and Plaque Buildup: When there is a significant accumulation of tartar (hardened plaque) on your teeth, particularly below the gumline, it often requires a deep cleaning to effectively remove it.
  • Gum Recession: If your gums have receded, exposing the tooth roots, scaling and root planing may be needed to clean the exposed root surfaces and prevent further damage.
  • Pain or Sensitivity: If you experience pain, sensitivity to hot or cold, or discomfort when chewing, it could be a sign of deeper dental issues that require a more thorough cleaning.
  • X-Ray Findings: X-rays may reveal bone loss or other periodontal issues that necessitate a deep cleaning to address underlying problems.
  • Previous Gum Disease Diagnosis: If you've been diagnosed with gum disease in the past and haven't received adequate treatment or maintenance, a deep cleaning may be recommended to manage the condition.
  • Family History: A family history of gum disease can increase your risk, making you more likely to need periodontal treatment like scaling and root planing.

It's essential to consult with your dentist or periodontist, who will assess your oral health and recommend the appropriate treatment based on your individual needs. If you exhibit any of these signs, addressing them promptly through scaling and root planing can help prevent the progression of gum disease and maintain your oral health.

Take the First Step in Maintaining your Oral Health!

Our friendly, experienced dental team is eager to assist you in attaining and preserving excellent oral health! Contact Dr. Jesse Myers & Dr. Alan J. White's office at 540-886-1979 in Staunton, VA, and our dedicated team will assist you promptly. Alternatively, you can fill out our online appointment request form at the bottom of this page at your convenience.

Skip to content