Your dental cleaning and exam are essential to maintaining your overall dental health and total health of your body. Getting your teeth cleaned every 6 months or more ensures that all of the plaque and tartar are being removed from your teeth and gums which allow your mouth to stay healthy.
The two parts of your dental cleaning include the cleaning of your teeth and the examination that the doctor performs. The cleaning portion is performed by a dental hygienist. They use special tools to remove the tartar and plaque from your teeth and gums. Once all this is removed, then the hygienist will polish and floss all of your teeth. After the cleaning is performed the doctor will be examining your teeth to determine if there are any cavities, if there is tartar/plaque build-up and x-rays will be done. Other parts of your mouth that are examined include your tongue, throat, face, head and neck.
Some specific things they will check for during your exam include:
- examining your gums
- taking x-rays
- checking your bite
- checking for broken or damaged teeth or fillings
- looking for loose teeth
- looking for tooth decay
- answering questions that you have
Once the exam and cleaning are done the doctor and hygienist will discuss the outcomes of your exam and give recommendations based on what they found. They will talk about your dental health and how your teeth looked. They will answer any questions or concerns that you have regarding your teeth and gums. Feel free to bring along any questions! All questions are good questions and valid!
Here are some things to do in between your cleanings:
- brush your teeth 2x per day with a toothpaste that includes fluoride
- floss daily to ensure everything is removed in between the teeth and gums
- use mouthwash to reduce bacteria in your mouth and keep your breath fresh
Getting your teeth cleaned and examined help to detect gum disease, oral cancer and other oral health concerns. When tartar and plaque build-up it can cause an infection that will lead to gingivitis (gum disease). Oral cancer is extremely serious and if treated early can have much better outcomes. Lastly, x-rays can show dental problems beneath the surface showing your bones and jaw. With regular cleanings and check-ups you give yourself the opportunity to keep your teeth and gums healthy!