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Dental cleanings are a vital step in maintaining your oral health. Most dentists recommend that patients receive a cleaning and comprehensive exam every six months, but patients with certain oral health conditions like gum disease should visit more frequently.

Benefits of Dental Cleanings

  • Remove plaque and tartar build-up
  • Reduce the chance of developing gum disease
  • Prevent and detect tooth decay
  • Check for signs of oral cancer
  • Brighten your smile by removing surface stains
  • Provide a clean, healthy feeling
  • Receive important home care instruction

How Dental Cleanings Work

A dental cleaning is a relatively quick, simple procedure with many impressive benefits. The first step in any routine dental cleaning is a thorough oral examination. The hygienist checks for signs of oral health issues. They use a small mirror to look at your teeth and gums, searching for signs of gum disease or decay.

Next, the hygienist removes plaque and tartar. They use a scaler tool to remove these dangerous substances that can cause tooth decay and gum disease.

One of the reasons why dental cleanings are so important is that only a professional can remove tartar, also known as calculus. Tartar or calculus causes gum disease when it builds up at or below the gum line. Gum disease may lead to tooth loss in its advanced stages.

After scaling, the hygienist uses a spinning brush to polish the teeth. The hygienist uses a slightly gritty toothpaste to polish away debris. This toothpaste also removes surface stains. 

Next, the hygienist will floss your teeth, showing you the best technique for removing all plaque. They may be able to spot areas where gum disease or gingivitis have a foothold. After flossing, the hygienist will have you rinse with water.

Fluoride treatments finish the cleaning. The hygienist may apply a foam, gel, or varnish. Fluoride is not just for kids: adults can also enjoy its benefits of stronger enamel and less tooth decay.

At the end of your visit, your dentist will check your teeth and answer any concerns. They will also check your mouth and throat for possible signs of oral cancer. They will go over the hygienist's findings and recommend future treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Cleanings

Does a dental cleaning hurt?

Dental cleanings are comfortable for the majority of patients. If you are developing gingivitis or gum disease, your gums may be tender and cause some discomfort. Stepping up your home care routine and receiving regular dental care will make your visits more comfortable over time.

When should my child receive their first dental cleaning?

Today, dentists recommend that parents bring their children to the dentist for the first time by age one. Dentists can track oral development, provide vital home care instruction, and help the child become accustomed to receiving dental care.

Call Lane Family Dentistry

Visiting the dentist for a cleaning should be a regular part of your healthcare routine. Keeping up with regular cleanings every six months can help you improve your oral health for years to come. It's never too late to start, even if it has been some time since your last cleaning. Please call our Vilonia, AR, office at 501-796-3903 to schedule an appointment.

Flossing your teeth is an important part of maintaining your dental health. Dentists recommend flossing daily to remove plaque from the spaces between your teeth and along your gum line. Yet this is often the most neglected part of people’s oral hygiene routine. 


If you’re just getting started with flossing, or if you haven’t done it in a while, you may be wondering how to do it properly. Here’s your complete guide to flossing your teeth. 

Choose the Right Type of Floss for You

There are different types of floss on the market, and choosing the right one can make flossing easier and more effective. 

  • String floss. The most basic type of floss is string floss, otherwise known as thread floss. The unwaxed type may unravel as you use it and is more likely to tear. 
  • Waxed floss. String floss can be coated with wax to prevent unraveling and to make it thicker. Waxed floss is the most common type of floss. 
  • Tape floss. Tape floss is wider and flat like tape. It helps to reach wider spaces between your teeth. 
  • Superfloss. Superfloss is spongy and has reinforced ends that make it easier to thread under braces wires and around dental prosthetics. 
  • Flossers. Stick flossers or plastic flossers have a thread that stretches across a u-shaped piece of plastic. Flossers are often easier to use for some patients, especially children. However, most dentists feel that they are not as effective as string floss because they don’t wrap around the teeth the way floss can. 

How Often to Floss 

Dentists and dental experts recommend flossing your teeth once a day, making sure to get in between all of your teeth. By flossing once a day you remove a large portion of the food particles and plaque that settle between your teeth. This can help to prevent cavities and gum disease. 

Flossing Techniques: Step by Step

How you floss also matters. There are techniques that make flossing more effective at removing plaque from between the teeth and along the gumline. 

  1. Break off a piece of floss that is at least 18 inches long. 
  2. Wrap the floss around your middle fingers and ring fingers on each hand with between 1-2 inches between. 
  3. Using your forefinger to guide the floss, slide it in between each tooth. 
  4. Wrap the floss slightly around each tooth as you slide it up and down. This allows the floss to get down into the pocket between the tooth and gums. 
  5. Use a clean part of the floss for each tooth. 
  6. Discard used floss and get a fresh piece each day. 

Benefits of Flossing Daily 

There are many benefits that come from daily flossing: 

  • Prevent gum disease. Flossing daily removes plaque that causes gum disease. It also helps strengthen your gums so that they are more resistant to bacterial infection.
  • Prevent tooth decay. Flossing helps to prevent cavities from forming between the teeth and along the gumline.
  • Fresher breath. Flossing helps keep your breath fresh by reducing the amount of bacteria between your teeth. 
  • Less scraping at the dentist. When you floss daily you have a lot less plaque and tartar on your teeth when you go to the dentist, which means less scraping and a shorter visit. 
  • Better overall health and wellness. Oral health is tied to a variety of health conditions and illnesses. The healthier your mouth, the healthier you will bet in general. Good oral health also allows you to eat a more nutritious diet with a greater variety of foods. 

Learn About Oral Care From Lane Family Dentistry 

When you come to Lane Family Dentistry, we provide instruction for proper flossing technique. From young children to adults who need a refresher, we can show you how to take care of your teeth at home for better oral health. Families who prioritize dental health together will have many generations with healthy teeth and mouths.


Call 501-796-3903 or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment. 




Contact our office today to schedule your appointment!

17 Eagle Park Dr Vilonia, AR 72173
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