Lovell Family Dentistry 5717 Churchland Boulevard Portsmouth, VA 23703 Phone: 757-484-1675    |   

Dental Exams and Cleanings

While you may brush and floss at home, visiting your dentist for regular comprehensive dental exams and teeth cleanings is essential to keep your smile looking its best. The health of your mouth and teeth is important to the health of your whole body.

The American Dental Association recommends that your dentist examines you teeth every six months to ensure that you maintain a healthy, beautiful smile.

Visiting your dentist for exams and cleanings every 6 months can:

  • Prevent tooth decay
  • Prevent gum disease and deterioration
  • Prevent bad breath
  • Avoid extensive and costly dental procedures caused by leaving things too late
  • Reduce staining from food and drinks, keeping your teeth white 
  • Retain a smile that will give you confidence and last a lifetime


Your Dental Exam

During a dental exam, your dentist thoroughly examines your teeth for signs of tooth decay, and gums for signs of gum disease. Your dentist can also sometimes detect signs of other health issues.  The dentist may also take X-rays of your teeth and gums. These x-ray images help your dentist identify dental issues beneath the surface.

Cleaning Your Teeth

Your dental hygienist begins your cleaning by checking the surface of your teeth visually to determine the quality of any fillings and if you have any cavities forming. The dental hygienist then performs an exam to ensure your gums adhere to your teeth, and that no periodontal disease or bone loss is occurring.

Next, the hygienist carefully cleans your teeth using a variety of tools, to remove any tartar buildup from your teeth. Then your hygienist flosses your teeth, and polishes and applies flouride.
Cleanings aren’t usually painful, but if you are anxious about your dental exam, please be sure to make the hygienist aware. There are also sedation options to calm anxious patients.

Once your exam and cleaning has been completed, if your teeth and gums appear healthy, your dentist will recommend that you continue to brush and floss as usual.
However, if either your hygienist or dentist has discovered signs of gum disease or tooth decay, they will discuss changes to your brushing or flossing habits. If decay or disease is more severe, they may recommend other dental treatments, procedures or antibiotics.