Cleanings & Prevention

At Discovery Dental Centers, we believe that prevention is the most important step to maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile. Scheduling regular cleanings with one of our offices will not only promote great oral health, but also ensure a beautiful smile for years to come.

Teeth that are kept clean rarely need to be repaired or replaced. Simply put, the cleaner you keep your teeth, the longer they should last. When you come in for your regular exam and cleaning, we’ll be sure to preserve the natural beauty of your smile while also enhancing it with cutting edge techniques.

If you’re looking for a lifetime of good oral health paired with a stunning smile, establish a solid foundation by eating a balanced diet, taking care of your teeth, and scheduling regular visits with Discovery Dental Centers. As always, feel free to ask us any questions you might have about any of our teeth cleaning procedures.

At Discovery Dental Centers, your teeth cleaning will typically be performed immediately following your dental exam. If your specialist finds a problem during your routine exam, other treatment options will need to be addressed.

One of our registered dental hygienists will work with you to provide a thorough teeth cleaning, which includes

plaque removal: If left untreated, the bacteria found in plaque can inflame the gums and cause periodontal disease.
calculus removal: More commonly known as “tartar,” calculus is plaque that hardens on the teeth. Special dental tools are required to remove calculus.
teeth polishing: Your specialist will use special tools to eliminate any other manageable stains, which will leave your teeth clean, smooth, and shiny.

Schedule an appointment with us immediately if you notice plaque, tartar, or unsightly stains building up on the surface of your teeth. Left untreated, these problems can adversely impact your oral health.

We’ll make your smile shine, but it’s up to you to keep it that way. Maintaining a bright smile requires diligent home care, as plaque can begin building up on teeth just 24 hours after a professional dental cleaning.

When necessary, your specialist will take x-rays of your mouth as a way to view information that can’t be observed in a regular visual exam. X-rays ensure any potential problems are detected at the onset.

Why do I need a dental x-ray?

X-rays can reveal a number of serious dental problems, such as:

  • abscesses or cysts
  • bone loss
  • cancerous and non-cancerous tumors
  • decay between the teeth
  • developmental abnormalities
  • poor tooth and root positions
  • problems inside a tooth or below the gum line

Without a dental x-ray, these problems could go undetected for years. Detecting and treating these dental problems now can save you time, money, and pain later on.

When will I get a dental x-ray?

You’ll receive a full-mouth x-ray at your first dental visit with Discovery Dental Centers. You’ll also receive other x-ray types, such as bitewings or periapicals, as needed throughout the duration of your treatment at Discovery Dental Centers.

You might also need an x-ray following certain treatments to ensure problems have been successfully resolved.

Are dental x-rays safe?

Absolutely. The x-ray will only take a few minutes. The amount of radiation you’ll be exposed to during a full mouth series of x-rays is equivalent to what you’re exposed to in a single day via natural sources. Even so, the specialists at Discover Dental Centers take precautions by covering your body with a lead apron shield, which minimizes exposure, and using modern cameras with fast film, which decreases the exposure time required for to produce an x-ray.

There are many ways to achieve a brighter, whiter smile, but which ones are the most effective and cost efficient for your life style. At Discovery Dental Centers we provide some of the best teeth whitening options for you, such as BOOST and take home trays. Both of these treatments can give you a brighter, white smile that you have always wanted. BOOST is an in office whitening treatment which would be performed under the supervision of a dental professional. BOOST is chemically activated which means it does not require the use of a light to activate the whitening gel. Although a light may be used it is not necessary. BOOST uses en elite whitening gel containing 38% hydrogen peroxide concentration with a unique component called PF, a mix of potassium nitrate (reduce the risk of sensitivity associated with teeth whitening) and fluoride (the enamel strengthener which reduces the risk of cavities). Depending on the tooth discoloration you have determines how long the procedure will take; usually it takes around 1-2 hours. Most treated teeth will continue to whiten for up to 12-24 hours after the procedure is completed. After just one visit there may not be an apparent change in tooth color. However, to achieve the best results you may receive take home trays to further the whitening process and to stabilize their final color. Take home trays are exactly what their names says. The patient will come in to have impressions taken of the upper and lower teeth. After the trays have been made, the patient will come in to pick up their trays and a dental professional will go over home care. Take home trays are very convenient in the sense that it is possible to whiten your teeth on your own time. Although it may take longer to achieve your whitening goals, it is less costly and easy to do on your own.

Visiting your dental health care specialist every six months not only improves the quality of your smile right now, but also promotes good oral health for the long term. At Discovery Dental Centers, our specialists are committed to providing our clients with comprehensive dental exams. Determining where your oral health stands now is crucial to developing future treatments.

Diagnostic x-rays allow your specialist to detect any inconspicuous decay, bone loss, cysts, or tumors that might be in your mouth. X-rays also reveal tooth and root positions, which could be helpful for planning future cosmetic procedures.

Gum disease evaluations ensure that bacteria have not infiltrated your gums. Your specialist will check for any signs of periodontal disease by examining the bones and gums that surround your teeth.

Tooth decay assessments allow your specialist to find even the most miniscule evidence of tooth decay. Your specialist will use special dental instruments to check for decay on all surfaces.

Assessments of existing restorations ensure all previous dental work is in good condition. Your specialist will check all current fillings, crowns, and other existing structures.

Oral cancer screenings can detect even the earliest signs of cancer. Your specialist will examine your face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, gums, and other oral tissues for any abnormalities.

Your specialist will evaluate these assessments at every visit. Contact your Discover Dental Center today to schedule a dental exam. You’ll be on your way to a brighter, healthier smile.

Maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile begins with your daily dental routine. Of course we’re always here to restore and improve your smile whenever you need it, but you’ll be the one who has to preserve its beauty. Keeping your mouth clean and clear of bacteria also helps prevent future dental problems.

As such, the specialists at Discovery Dental Centers encourage you to practice the following oral health habits on a regular basis.


Sometimes people forget the important role that their diet plays in their oral health. Eating nutritious foods in balanced meals helps promote optimal oral health. Consuming too much sugar can adversely affect your teeth and gums. Eating snacks frequently can also lead to increased particle buildup between your teeth and around your gum lines. Remember that the food you use to nourish your body first enters it through your mouth.


Brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice each day — in the morning and at night. Ideally, you should brush your teeth after every meal, but we understand that’s not always a realistic goal.

When brushing, be sure to gently scrub along your gum lines to remove any plaque that might be building up. Electric toothbrushes can be especially effective in removing hard-to-reach bacteria. Finally, don’t forget to brush your tongue; a lot of bacteria live there, and your breath will be even fresher afterward.


Far too many individuals skip out on regular flossing, but it’s crucial to your dental routine if you want to achieve total oral health. Flossing primarily minimizes the risk of tooth decay by removing food particles leave behind after brushing. If you have a permanent retainer, ask your specialist about tools that might work better for your daily flossing routine.


Rinsing with some sort of gargle should be the last step of your oral hygiene routine because it infiltrates crevices and kills any bacteria that remain in your mouth. Some brands or mouthwash also contain ingredients that help protect your tooth enamel.

You can always ask your Discovery Dental Centers specialist for recommendation on which products might be best for your oral health care needs.

You want your healthy, beautiful style to last long after your appointment. Fortunately, you’re in charge of your own destiny. The oral hygiene practices you use on a daily basis will help keep your smile as healthy, fresh, and beautiful as the day you left our office.

Discovery Dental Centers - Services

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9371 Phoenix Parkway, O'Fallon, Missouri 63368

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