Dental patient holding the side of her mouth in a dental chair

Dental Exams & Teeth Cleanings

A major factor in maintaining your oral health is to get regular dental exams and teeth cleanings. At Wilshire Dental in Santa Monica, we recommend dental exams every six months for people of most ages. Dr. Melanie offers dental exams and teeth cleanings to help you avoid cavities and other oral health issues.

book an appointment

What Are Dental Exams?
Knowing What to Expect

Dentist holding mirror to exam a patient's upper teeth

Dental exams are crucial components of preventive dentistry. They allow Dr. Melanie to screen for gum disease and tooth decay, as well as to learn more about your oral hygiene.

Many signs of oral health issues begin without symptoms. Jaw bone loss, for example, doesn’t cause any pain during the beginning stages, so the only way to really spot it is during a dental exam. 

A typical dental exam takes anywhere from 40 to 60 minutes, though the exams are shorter for children. Other factors that can affect the length of the exam include:

  • Patient’s oral health
  • Patient’s age
  • Frequency of dental exams

For people with a history of gum disease or other oral health issues, it may be necessary to get a dental exam every three to four months.

Combining Dental Exams With Teeth Cleanings

The majority of the time, Dr. Melanie will recommend combining your dental exams with teeth cleanings. A teeth cleaning procedure will be done by a dental hygienist.

Remove Plaque & Tartar

The hygienist will begin your dental cleaning by using a scaler to remove plaque and tartar at your gum line. Remember that once plaque hardens and becomes tartar, only a dental professional can remove it.

Professional Teeth Polishing

Once your teeth are free of plaque and tartar, the hygienist will brush your teeth with an electric brush and a gritty toothpaste that scrubs your teeth.


The next step is to get your teeth flossed. The dental hygienist will go deep between your teeth. Although people who floss every day may find this step unnecessary, it is actually helpful for removing any leftover plaque from early in the cleaning. 

Fluoride Application

Once you rinse your teeth, the hygienist will apply a fluoride treatment in the form of a varnish, which enters the tooth enamel, immediately increasing hardness and protecting the teeth from future decay.

Schedule Your Dental Exam and Cleaning With a Top Dentist

Monitoring your oral health is vital for protecting not only your teeth and gums but also your overall well-being. Turn to Wilshire Dental today to schedule your next dental exam with Dr. Melanie. 

Location & Hours

Address: 3201 Wilshire Blvd. Ste. 110 Santa Monica, CA 90403Phone Number: (310) 829-5181

We are a street-level location on the corner of Wilshire and Franklin, right across the street from Big 5 and Bristol Farms.

9:00am - 5:00pm
9:00am - 5:00pm
9:00am - 5:00pm
9:00am - 5:00pm
9:00am - 5:00pm
9:00am - 3:00pm

Request an Appointment

call Us