Dental exam and cleaning appointments are routine dental visits that go a long way in preventing tooth decay and gum disease. By maintaining your regular oral hygiene routine at home and keeping up with your regular dental exam and cleaning appointments, you’re helping to prevent costly and unnecessary dental work in the future.
Dental Exam and Cleaning Benefits
· Early detection of tooth decay
· Routine checks for other oral health problems
· Regular removal of plaque and tartar from the teeth
Although each individual patient may have somewhat of a different experience, depending upon the current state of their oral health, here is generally what you can expect during a dental exam:
Medical History Intake
For new patients, this is when your dentist will ask questions about your oral health and medical history. If you are a returning patient, they will want to know if your medical health status has changed or if you are taking any new medications.
Your dentist may want to take some x-rays to look for what cannot be seen by the naked eye. This will allow them to visualize what is going on within your teeth and supporting structures.
A routine part of any dental exam is a check for signs of tooth decay and gum disease. Your dentist or dental hygienist will also be checking for signs of oral cancer.
Oral Cancer Screening
As scary as it may sound, oral cancer is highly treatable when it is detected early. Otherwise, it can spread and become life-threatening.
Your dentist will be examining the area around your jaws to look for signs of oral cancer. They will also examine the soft tissues in your mouth.
The main goal of a dental cleaning appointment is to prevent gum disease by removing plaque and tartar from the teeth. Plaque is a biofilm that adheres to the teeth, secreting acidic substances that can
damage your teeth and gums. Tartar is the hardened form of plaque that can only be removed by a dental professional.
After your dentist or dental hygienist has scraped away all plaque and tartar from your teeth, they will polish your teeth to a smooth finish. If any problems were detected, they may recommend needed updates to your brushing and flossing technique so that you can maintain proper oral hygiene.
Oral Hygiene Tips
Make sure that you change your toothbrush regularly, as it can be expected to undergo wear and tear over time. A good time to buy a new toothbrush is whenever you notice that its bristles have become frayed, or every three months, whichever comes first.