Regular dental exams are a critical part of preventive health care. While it is your job to handle your mouth’s day to day maintenance, regular exams are essential for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums. Your visits give our staff an opportunity to check-in with you and spot any concerns before they become bigger issues.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING MY REGULAR EXAM AND CLEANING?
- Oral Exam – Our dentist will examine your mouth, teeth, and gums to ensure that there are no signs of cavities or other concerns. They will also be on the lookout for the swelling of gums in any areas, mouth sores, and redness.
- X-rays – If needed, x-ray pictures will be taken of your mouth so they can see if there are any issues below the mouth’s surface. The resulting image will show the visible parts of your teeth as well as the roots below the gum line and your jaw bones, allowing your dentist to see exactly what is happening in your mouth and assign your oral care as needed.
- Teeth Cleaning – Once you have been examined and have shared your health concerns, our team can start working inside your mouth. The first thing they will do is give your teeth a thorough cleaning. They start by scraping off built-up plaque and tartar that collects above and below the gum line before flossing between and around every tooth to remove any plaque or food particles that are clinging on.
- Fluoride Treatment – As plaque accumulates on the teeth, the bacteria in this sticky substance draw minerals, including fluoride, out of your tooth enamel. These minerals are what keep the enamel hard; without them, the teeth are more susceptible to decay. While a healthy diet can help to replenish lost fluoride, it is often insufficient. Regular fluoride treatments give your teeth a boost and reverse the demineralization process to keep your enamel hard and bright.
- Results and Advice – After the dental exam and cleaning is complete, our team will give you advice about next steps. Sometimes this involves scheduling another dental appointment for a procedure while other times your dentist will give you advice about what you can do at home to better your oral health. It is extremely important that you listen to this advice and put it into action as best you can to ensure that your next checkup is the best it can be.
- Oral Cancer Screening – During a routine dental checkup, our team at Texas Corners Dental not only checks for early signs of tooth decay and any gum issues, but also for signs of oral cancer. Oral cancer often appears as a growth or sore that does not go away and includes cancer of the lips, cheek, tongue, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate and throat. If you don’t find it and treat it early, it can become life threatening.
If you have lesions in your mouth that do not clear up within two weeks, it is a good idea to make an appointment with your dentist. Difficulty chewing, swallowing or speaking as well as any pain, numbness or change in your bite should also prompt a visit with your dentist or a physician right away.
Regular dental checkups will help you avoid many problems with your teeth. Your dentist is also in a good position to catch signs of oral cancer, another reason to be sure to visit your dentist every six months.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU SEE THE DENTIST?
Keeping your teeth healthy with regular dental visits is important. When teeth start to have problems, they can impact life quickly. Catching a dental problem early may help reduce the amount of pain, difficulty, and cost to fix the problem. Your dentist can advise you how often you need to visit based on your oral and general health and your risk factors for tooth decay and gum disease. For example, an adult with good oral hygiene and no problems at checkups may need to come in every six months. Someone with heavy tartar or several cavities may need to come more often.