Healthy teeth and gums deliver more than a great smile, they also support your overall health. Good oral hygiene and oral health reduce the risk of serious diseases, including heart attacks and strokes. Protect your teeth, gums, and health by scheduling regular dental cleanings and following a great at-home oral hygiene routine.

Regular Cleanings

For people who have good oral hygiene habits, scheduling a cleaning every six months should keep your smile bright. Once in the exam room, one of our friendly registered dental hygienists will clean your teeth. This process includes:

  • Tartar Removal. Tartar is plaque that has become hardened and firmly attached to the tooth surface because it was not removed by brushing or flossing. Tarter forms above and below the gum line and your hygienist will remove it using special dental instruments.
  • Plaque Removal: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth but has not yet hardened into tartar. Plague consists of bacteria, food debris, and saliva that must be removed to protect your teeth and gums. The hygienist will use a variety of dental tools to remove the plaque.
  • Teeth Polishing: Polishing your teeth is the last step in the cleaning process. It removes any remaining plaque as well as stains caused by tea, coffee, foods, tobacco and other habits that can make teeth look discolored.

After the cleaning, your teeth will look and feel their best.

Dental Exam

In conjunction with your dental cleaning, either Dr. Petrone or Dr. Proctor will conduct a thorough examination of your mouth, teeth, and gums. They work with the hygienist to perform a variety of tasks including:

  • Examination of diagnostic x-rays: X-rays help the dentist detect tooth decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. They are also used to determine tooth and root positions.
  • Oral cancer screening: Your dentist will check your face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for signs of oral cancer.
  • Gum disease evaluation: The hygienist will check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease and report the findings to the dentist.
  • Examination of tooth decay: The dentist will check all tooth surfaces for decay using special dental instruments. If decay is found, an appointment will be scheduled for the recommended treatment.
  • Examination of existing restorations: For patients with existing fillings, crowns or other work, the dentist will check them to assure that they are stable and undamaged.

The goal of the dental exam is to identify problems as early as possible to minimize damage and provide corrective treatments and services that correct the issue.

At-Home Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene habits minimize the risk of gum disease and tooth decay and is the best way to keep your mouth healthy between cleanings.

At a minimum, you should:

  • Brush Your Teeth. We recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice daily. If you’ve eaten popcorn or a sugary or sticky treat, brush your teeth as soon as possible to avoid gum issues and the formation of plaque. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, either electric or manual, and be sure to brush down to the gums.
  • Floss Your Teeth. Flossing your teeth every night helps to remove the last bits of food from between your teeth before you go to sleep. There are many types of flosses to choose from and if you’re unsure of which is the best choice, ask your hygienist or dentist for a recommendation.

There are other things you can do to promote healthy teeth and gums. These are:

  • Avoid smoking.
  • Avoid sticky sugary foods.
  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Use antiseptic and fluoride rinses as directed.
  • Have sealants placed on young permanent teeth.


See what our patients are saying!

  • On 23 August I had oral surgery with Dr. Petrone for about 3 hours removing all my upper teeth in which about 5 of them had to be surgically removed, 4 implants installed and then stitched up. Dr. Petrone is a professional and did a great job, I would recommend him to anyone who needs dental work. His administrative staff is also outstanding as the way they assist patients.

    Richard C.
  • I didn’t feel rushed with my questions and felt like the staff really cared! The front desk staff was awesome as well. I found a forever dentist.

    Brandy Hodge
  • This is a great group of people. I look forward to every visit. The staff is amazing! I’ve had a lot of work done here over the last year or so and every penny was well spent.

    Robb G.

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