It’s recommended that you visit your dentist twice a year for a check-up and dental cleaning. These visits are very important for oral health because they give your dentist the opportunity to look for signs of potential dental issues. Most dental problems develop without showing signs that you would notice yourself. It’s only at the dentist office that a professional would be able to detect them through x-rays or an in-depth look at your teeth and gums.
A routine trip to the dentist generally starts with a check-up. A thorough evaluation will be performed to check the health of your teeth, gums, and overall health of the mouth. Things that will be observed include signs of plaque and cavities. The gums will also get some attention as they can show signs of periodontal (gum) disease. X-rays may be prescribed by your dentist. An oral cancer screening might also be performed during the check-up. The visit will then proceed with a dental cleaning.
A dental cleaning is usually performed by a hygienist. First, plaque and tartar will be removed along the gum line as well as between the teeth. The hygienist will then brush your teeth with a high-powered electric toothbrush. This process is similar to a brush at home, but the toothpaste used at the dentist office has a grittier consistency, enabling it to gently scrub and polish the teeth and remove any remaining traces of stain. The last step of the cleaning is an expert flossing, which removes any leftover plaque from the surface of the teeth, including the spaces in between teeth. Flossing the teeth also alerts the hygienist of any problem areas where there is bleeding at the gums. To get rid of remaining debris, you’ll rinse out your mouth at the end of the cleaning. Though it might be uncomfortable to have someone working in your mouth for an extended period of time, getting a dental cleaning is not painful at all. If a patient should suffer from anxiety, there are different levels of sedation that can be utilized to put them more at ease.
Before you leave, the dentist will usually talk to you about the condition of your mouth and teeth. After examining the x-rays, if they were taken, he or she will be able to discuss whether any problems were found and, if so, what next steps should be taken to ensure good oral health.