Dental Hygiene Exams
Twice-yearly dental hygiene exams are essential for healthy teeth and gums, and overall oral health.
Along with a professional cleaning that reaches parts of your mouth you may miss when you brush at home, we also check for issues like tooth decay, gum disease and oral cancer. By doing a comprehensive exam every six months, we can identify any potential concerns early—before they require more extensive treatment.
What Happens During a Hygiene Exam?
First, your dental hygienist cleans your teeth and mouth. This includes removing any plaque or tartar that has built up on your teeth and gums, a procedure that helps prevent gum disease and cavities.
Next, we brush, floss and polish your teeth, and possibly provide a fluoride treatment for your tooth enamel.
We recommend taking X-rays of your mouth once a year, so we can get a better look at your teeth and what’s going on beneath your gums. If you are due for an X-ray, it will be done during this visit.
While cleaning your mouth, your hygienist examines your teeth, gums, muscles and soft tissues, then discusses their findings with you and the dentist. Sometimes, what they find may require further dental treatment or a referral to one of our specialist partners.
What Do You Look for During a Hygiene Exam?
More than just cleaning your teeth, your dental hygiene visit may include:
- A periodontal (gum disease) exam
- An orthodontic evaluation
- A general visual exam of your face, mouth, teeth and jaw
- Screening for cancer
If we spot any potential issues, we will work with you to develop a treatment plan.
Since good oral health is closely connected to overall body health, our team is thinking about you as a whole person. We are trained to spot issues and risks, including:
- Oral cancer
- Sleep apnea
- Heart disease
- Premature births
Good Oral Health Starts at Home
Good dental health—and the health of the rest of your body—requires more than twice-yearly visits to our office. You can care for your mouth in a variety of ways between appointments to prevent problems like periodontal disease, gingivitis, halitosis (bad breath) and tooth decay.
Patient education and discussing options for at-home care of teeth and gums are fundamental parts of our exams at Dentistry at Millennium Park. We address any questions about your oral health habits, caring for your teeth and what you can do to keep your mouth healthy in between exams.
In general, we advise you to brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Don’t brush too hard, as this may lead to gum recession. We also recommend using dental floss once a day to prevent gum disease and keep the space between teeth clean, too.
At each checkup you’ll get a hygiene kit with toothpaste, a toothbrush, floss and more goodies to take home with you.
Looking for a Dentist Near You in Chicago?
We’re always welcoming new patients to our practice. To book an appointment with the Dentistry at Millennium Park team today, give us a call during office hours at (312) 883-9316.
We look forward to your dental visit and will see you soon!