As a preventive dentist, we strongly encourage all patients to keep up with routine exams and cleanings. The American Dental Association recommends visiting your dentist regularly – usually about twice yearly – for full cleanings and routine dental examinations.
Cleanings help remove built-up plaque that is not removable using conventional brushing and flossing. In addition, your dental hygienist can detect early signs of gum disease and other irregularities that warrant attention or treatment. Even patients with the best home oral care need professional cleanings. Even if you brush and floss after every meal and before bed, bacteria-harboring plaque can accumulate in the tiniest crevices, grooves and pits. Over time, the teeth will begin to decay in those areas, which may result in pain and partial or total tooth loss.
At your exam, your dentist will check for problems that you are not yet able to see or feel. The earlier dental issues are caught, the less complicated, invasive, and costly treatments tend to be.
Regular exams are an important part of maintaining your oral health. During your regular exam, we will:
- Check for any problems that you may not see or feel
- Look for cavities or any other signs of tooth decay
- Inspect your teeth and gums for gingivitis and signs of periodontal disease
What to Expect
Your cleaning and consultation will consist of a visible examination of the teeth and gums. If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, you may also require x-rays for a more comprehensive view of your teeth. You’ll also consult with your dentist about any oral health problems you may have been having or questions that you may have. The cleaning will follow, during which a dental hygienist will use special instruments to remove hardened plaque from your teeth. Finally, your teeth will be polished before your dentist discusses any treatment recommendations he or she may have for you.
In between dental cleanings and consultations, be sure to maintain good oral habits at home. This includes daily flossing and brushing after meals. It’s also important to drink fluoridated water and use a fluoridated toothpaste.