Why are dental cleanings necessary?

The average person may not be fully aware of the purpose of dental cleanings. Are you?

Either way, it’s okay. That’s part of why we’re here! Here at Northstar, we value more than just dental work. We want to help inform our patients about oral and overall health. Part of our role is to serve our community and this is just one of the ways that we do this. If you aren’t quite sure why dental cleanings are necessary, this page should help you learn.

A professional teeth cleaning removes harmful plaque, calculus, and bacteria that otherwise can not be removed with home care. With special dental tools, registered dental hygienists will gently remove build-up that naturally gathers on your teeth over time.


a couple after Teeth Cleaning

Visiting the dentist every six months for a regular cleaning will help you prevent gingivitis, periodontal disease, or other dental issues. You may have gingivitis if you have red, mildly swollen gums or gums that bleed when brushing and flossing.

A regular teeth cleaning and exam will make it possible for your dentist to catch potential dental issues before they get worse or become major problems. With preventative care such as cleanings and exams, you can avoid problems that cause pain and a higher hit to your wallet. For example, a dentist can catch gingivitis before it becomes periodontal disease or a cavity.


We understand that saving on dental bills is a high priority for our patients. To achieve this, we recommend that you come in for regular cleanings and exams. We also recommend that you follow a good oral hygiene routine at home.

For patients with periodontal disease, we recommend you visit our office for periodontal maintenance cleanings every 3-4 months instead of the standard six-month time frame.

Cost of a Dental Cleaning

If you’re concerned about being able to afford dental treatment, you’ve come to the perfect place. Here at Northstar, we offer a handful of convenient payment options. No insurance? No problem! We partner with Lincoln Dental Plans to offer affordable dental care to those without insurance. Their convenient payment plans only require one annual payment. In return, members gain access to a whole slew of free and discounted services. This includes free dental cleanings twice a year! For more information, click the link to their website.

Similarly, we also partner with CareCredit. CareCredit offers members a healthcare-based credit card. With CareCredit, you can pay for treatments up front and pay the card off monthly, just like a credit card. This can even entitle you to an extra 10% off if you pay for your treatment up front (give us a call at 402-742-0000 to ask about your prepayment discount)! This is a great option for anyone who needs to pay for treatment at their own convenience. Click the link above to learn more about CareCredit.

Thankfully, we also offer specials on dental cleanings often. Follow along with our specials at the NFD Wellness Blog. They’re also on Facebook and Instagram for your convenience!

Why are teeth cleanings important?

Click the infographic below to learn more.

The importance of Teeth Cleaning cover to inforgraphic

Professional Teeth Cleaning

One of our registered dental hygienists will perform your teeth cleaning. Special dental tools are used to clean build-up from your teeth that a toothbrush and floss miss.

Along with an exam, your professional teeth cleaning appointment will consist of the following:

Calculus Removal – Plaque that has been allowed to harden is called calculus. It cannot be removed by brushing alone, so dental tools are needed to remove it. Calculus can form above as well as below the gum line.

Plaque Removal – Sticky plaque forms on the teeth and is a breeding ground for bacteria. If not removed along with calculus, it can cause gum inflammation which can lead to periodontal disease. Plaque that sits on teeth can also react with your saliva and foods you eat and turn into an acid that eats away at your enamel, causing a cavity.

Polished Teeth – Your hygienist will polish your teeth using a polish and special toothpaste to remove stains and any plaque that may not have been removed earlier in the cleaning process.

If you have more question regarding a dental cleaning or exam, please feel free to contact us.

Dental Exam

Most dental insurances cover a regular teeth cleaning and exam at 100%. Because of this, regular exams are the least expensive dental treatment! A comprehensive exam will be performed by one of our dentists at your first appointment, followed by a regular checkup at your bi-annual teeth cleaning appointments.

An examination by your hygienist and your dentist will consist of the following:

Evaluation of X-Rays (dental radiographs)

At Northstar Dental, a hygienist and dentist will go over x-rays taken to determine if there is tumors, cysts, decay, or bone loss present. An x-ray will also identify the position of the teeth roots which can be valuable when diagnosing certain conditions or when determining teeth that need to be extracted.


dentist lincoln NE northstar dental erica Teeth Cleaning

Screening for Oral Cancer

Your dentist will examine multiple areas in and around the mouth to check for any signs of oral cancer. Your dentist will investigate the throat, face, neck, lips, tongue, tissues, and gums.

Check for Periodontal Disease

Your hygienist will use a special tool to evaluate the gums and bone around each tooth. This will determine if there are any signs of periodontal (gum) disease.


Check for Tooth Decay

In addition to evaluating your x-rays for cavities, your doctor and hygienist will also check the surface of each tooth individually to see if any decay is present.

Examine Previous Dental Work

Your dentist will check all existing dental restorations such as crowns, veneers, fillings, etc. to make sure no decay or cracks are present in or around the restoration. They will give recommendations based on what they find.

Schedule an Appointment

If you would like more information about dental exams, contact us at Northstar Dental. We would love to assist you with your dental needs!


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