Regular Dental Exams and Cleanings: The Excellent Way to Maintain Your Smile

Regular Dental Exams and Cleanings: The Excellent Way to Maintain Your Smile

July 1, 2021

For some people, the dentist’s chair is a dreadful place. For others, they only visit the dentist when they have a problem that cannot be ignored, such as a toothache. But if you desire to enjoy a healthy and beautiful smile, regular exams and cleanings should be part of your health care plan.

Even though your teeth have the strongest substance in the body, enamel, they need that extra love for them to serve you well.

A comprehensive dental exam can help detect a condition that could otherwise go unnoticed, such as oral cancer. So let’s see what regular dental exams and cleanings are about.

It’s All About Prevention

When was the last time you come to our office for a checkup? Regular exams and cleanings should be done once every six months for adults and children. They are straightforward and painless, so you can ignore anyone who says otherwise. 

A visit to see our dentist is not just about fixing issues but also preventing them. This is why we offer comprehensive exams and cleanings since they are an essential part of preventive oral care.

As you may know by now, your overall health can be directly affected by your oral hygiene. Diseases such as diabetes, stroke, and even heart disease have been linked to oral health.

Therefore, when you come in for a dental exam or cleaning, you can expect our dentist to clean your teeth, check for cavities and any other issue that may affect your oral health. In addition, our dentist may discuss with you your lifestyle and any other habits that may affect your oral health.

What Do Dental Exams Assess?

Some people may think that a dental exam is all about checking for cavities. But an exam encompasses so much more than checking if you have cavities. For example, a standard exam may consist of the following:

  • Looking for loose teeth.
  • Evaluating your gums.
  • Looking for signs of gum disease.
  • Assessing the tissue in your mouth.
  • Taking digital x-rays.
  • Checking if you have any broken teeth.
  • Inspecting dental appliances if you have any.
  • Measuring your bite.
  • Examining the health of your tongue.
  • Checking for tooth decay.

As you examine the list above, you can see that dental exams are much more than looking for dental caries. Our dentist can also check for evidence of bruxism or if you have problems with your temporomandibular joint (the joint that links your skull to your lower jaw).

Also, don’t be shocked to see our dentist examine your neck, lymph glands, and soft tissues of the oral cavity for signs of infection or oral cancer. Since oral cancer symptoms only show up when the disease has progressed, it is wise to undergo a comprehensive exam to aid in early detection. In addition, this will increase your chances of beating the disease.

What Happens During a Typical Cleaning?

If you don’t know what happens during a typical dental cleaning, check out the following:

  • Our dentist will commence cleaning your teeth with the appropriate dental tools. This means that your teeth will be scraped to remove plaque and tartar. If you have gum disease, you can expect deep cleaning, which involves cleaning slightly below the gum line, a procedure known as scaling.
  • Then, our dentist will floss your teeth.
  • Our dentist will use an abrasive substance to polish your teeth.
  • You might also receive some fluoride varnish to strengthen your teeth and prevent tooth decay.
  • You will be given additional information on how you can clean your teeth, including the proper brushing and flossing technique.

If any problems are discovered during the exam, our dentist will make the necessary recommendations on what you can do next.

How Frequent Should You Come for Cleanings and Exams?

In most cases, adults and children should visit our dentist at least twice each year. However, if you have oral issues such as gingivitis or periodontitis, your appointments will be more frequent. So, on average, you may need to see our dentist at least thrice a year.

Also, when your little one’s teeth have erupted, you should bring them to see our dentist as soon as possible. The visits may increase as your child’s teeth continue to erupt. 

The Bottom Line

Don’t look at the regular dental visits as inconveniences, but as a necessary part of your oral care if you are to maintain proper oral health. Contact us at Belknap Dental Associates for cleanings and exams.

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