Preventative dental care is an important part of your health care regimen as it helps keep teeth and gums healthy and strong. Dental check-ups are recommended once or twice a year and are a great way to ward off any concerns before they start.
Generally, you will begin your appointment with a cleaning by a dental hygienist. The hygienist will use a small metal tool to scrape the tartar off your teeth. This is followed by flossing, polishing and application of a fluoride treatment if needed. Sometimes a sealant is also used on the back teeth to prevent against decay by keeping food and bacteria from getting stuck in the surface. Dental X-rays are sometimes required to more closely check for signs of dental decay that aren’t as clearly seen with the naked eye. You will be given a protective heavy apron to wear and will bite down on a small bit of plastic to align your teeth and get the best image possible.
Once the cleaning is complete, the dentist will evaluate your overall health. The dentist will examine your teeth and gums for signs of decay, gingivitis or diseases such as oral cancer and check your bite and jaw for any concerns,. The dentist may also inquire about any health and lifestyle factors (diabetes, smoking, taking certain medications) to determine any affect they may have on your oral health.
The exam is then complete and your dentist will advise you of any recommendations for treatment if necessary before you schedule your next check-up. And remember to brush and floss to maintain your dental health between visits.