You are probably familiar with the recommendation that you see a dentist every six months for a routine checkup and cleaning. These appointments are crucial for your overall dental health.
What will my appointment entail?
Routine dental appointments usually consist of a physical exam, plaque, and tartar removal, polishing with a gritty toothpaste, flossing, rinsing, and fluoride treatment. Depending on your dental health and status, there may be other steps involved in assessing your needs.
What is the physical exam for?
For the exam portion of your appointment, your dental hygienist will use a mirror to look at all of your teeth and to look for signs of infection, gum disease, or any other abnormalities. The hygienist will look for any areas of concern, and report them to the dentist for a further examination. The exam is an important way to catch things like oral cancers and gum disease in their early stages. These conditions are easier to treat and have much higher survival and successful treatment rate when they are caught and treated early.
How is plaque removed?
Very carefully, your dentist or hygienist will use a tiny scraping tool to chip away the plaque and tartar build-up around your teeth. If you experience pain during this part of the exam, let your hygienist know, as this may be the sign of serious oral issues. Brushing and flossing are a very important step to avoid plaque and tartar build up. This is why it is important to keep up with your daily dental routines.
Why is gritty toothpaste used?
After they have successfully scraped away the plaque and tartar build ups in your mouth, gritty toothpaste and a high powered toothbrush are used to polish your teeth. This helps the hygenist to thoroughly clean your teeth. The grit in the toothpaste has a polishing effect that cleans your teeth better than usual toothpaste.
The hygienist will then floss between all of your teeth. They will look for bleeding in the mouth and gums during this phase and try to identify problem areas in the mouth.
What are the benefits of fluoride treatment?
You will have the option to receive fluoride treatment. Fluoride is an important part of fighting cavities. It serves as a protectant around your teeth and can protect you from cavities for up to several months at a time. The fluoride is administered in the form of varnish and will be painted onto your teeth.
Your appointment may also involve X-rays or other examinations based on any problematic findings in your mouth. Regular treatments and check-ins with your dentist are an important and crucial part of maintaining your oral health. Cleanings help to prevent the buildup of plaque, tartar, and bacteria and help to spot signs of illness in your mouth early.
If you haven’t seen a dentist in a while, you should make an appointment with us immediately. Together, we can get your oral health back on track.