I don’t have a toothache, and I brush and floss regularly. Do I really need a check-up?

Biannual teeth cleanings performed by a skilled dental hygienist at our Schaumburg dental office are central to keeping your teeth and gums looking and functioning their best. If you have gum disease, more frequent visits to Happy Smiles Family Dentistry will probably be recommended for your oral and overall health.

During cleanings, plaque and calculus (more commonly known as tartar) are removed from teeth. Plaque is a sticky deposit on teeth in which bacteria grow, and tartar is basically calcified or hardened plaque, which is more difficult to remove. Tartar that has accumulated under the gumline often requires more extensive treatment than a standard cleaning. Our hygienists also polish teeth, floss (partly to test the condition of gums, to see if they bleed) and document any bleeding, stains or areas of concern.

Dental exams with one of our Schaumburg dentists ensure that problems are diagnosed and treated before they become more painful and expensive. A typical exam includes a visual assessment of teeth and occlusion (bite), along with an appraisal of current restorations. When X-rays have been taken, your dentist will carefully review them to identify areas of decay and other possible areas of concern for cysts, tumors and other disorders of the mouth. Panoramic X-rays are especially revealing and beneficial to this process. Your dentist will also perform a general screening for early detection of gum disease and oral cancer.

In between cleanings and exams at our Schaumburg dental office, brushing your teeth at least twice a day (in the morning and at night) is the most important thing you can do to take care of your teeth. Brushing after every meal is even better, if you can. If not, chewing sugar-free gum after meals can get food particles out of teeth. Clean between teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner, and remember to brush your tongue. Brushing your tongue, especially the back areas, can make a big difference in how clean your mouth feels and smells. Restorations such as bridges and partial dentures should be cleaned thoroughly too, just like natural teeth. Toothbrushes should be replaced every two to three months.