Preventing Problems Before They Start
The health of your teeth and mouth is very important for the well-being of your entire body. Although routine brushing and flossing at home are necessary to keep your smile looking its best, visiting your dentist for a comprehensive exam and cleaning is essential.
The American Dental Association recommends you visit your dentist every six months to ensure your teeth stay healthy and your smile stays beautiful.
By routinely seeing a dentist for exams and cleanings, you can:
- Prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath
- Save money by avoiding costly and extensive dental procedures
- Keep your teeth white by reducing staining from food and drinks
- Shorten the time spent in your dentist’s office
- Have a smile that will last a lifetime
During your exam, your dentist will thoroughly examine your teeth and gums for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other health problems. The dentist may also want to take X-rays to see what is happening beneath the surface of your teeth and gums.
Whether these X-rays are traditional or digital, the images provided will help your dentist discover dental issues not visible to the naked eye.
Your dental hygienist will begin your cleaning by exploring the surface of your teeth. Then he or she will perform a periodontal exam to make sure your gums adhere tightly to your teeth, and no periodontal disease or bone loss may be occurring.
Next, the hygienist will carefully clean your teeth with a variety of tools to remove any hard mineral buildup (tartar) from your teeth. The hygienist will floss your teeth, use a polishing compound, and apply fluoride.
Cleanings usually aren’t painful, but if you have any anxiety about your dental exam, be sure to let your hygienist know. If your teeth and gums appear to be healthy, the dentist will probably recommend you continue your brushing and flossing routine as usual.