Routine Dental Care Basics
At a dental exam, your dentist or hygienist checks every tooth, and your gums, cheek and tongue. Healthy teeth thrive in a healthy mouth. Your dentist will check every structure and surface in your mouth for cavities, signs of gum disease, infections or other possible health issues.
General health checks
Your mouth might let us know there are serious health issues, like heart disease and diabetes, lurking just beneath the surface. Lesions, sores and other abnormalities in the mouth and throat could be signs of cancer or other serious diseases. That’s why your dentist thoroughly checks your tongue, cheeks, tonsils and throat.
If your dentist sees anything concerning, she’ll be sure to let you know. She might refer you to one of our specialists or your doctor.
Should your dentist refer you to another medical professional for any reason, be sure to follow through. The sooner you can get help for your problem, the better the outcome tends to be. Don’t wait!
At a dental cleaning, your hygienist will clean along and below the gum line to get rid of all that built-up plaque and tartar. Once it’s all gone, she’ll polish those pearly whites and give them a good flossing to boot.
Most people need a cleaning every six months, but some people might need them more often than that. If you build up tartar quickly, have Type II diabetes or gum disease, you may need to see a hygienist three or four times a year.
Your yearly X-ray
Our X-ray machines use a low dose of radiation to snap detailed pictures of the structure of your mouth. X-rays help your dentist find issues like infections, cavities, wisdom teeth due for removal, and much, much more.
It’s typical for dentists to schedule X-rays about once a year, but they may recommend more or fewer X-rays at their discretion.
In between checkups, it’s all you
Don’t forget to brush at least twice a day so tartar doesn’t harden into plaque. Floss once a day, too, to break up bacteria between teeth your brush can’t quite reach. And fluoride rinse is never a bad idea.