Dental checkups are important because they help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Your oral health is as important as your physical health. You should plan to schedule your dental visits twice a year or as recommended by your dentist. Regular dental visits will also help prevent problems from developing.
What happens at a dental checkup?
When you visit your dentist for an annual checkup you will have an examination to ensure that you don’t have any cavities or tooth decay, and a teeth cleaning (prophylaxis). The dental term prophylaxis means the “removal of dental plaque, dental calculus, and stains from the exposed and unexposed surfaces of the teeth by scaling and polishing as a preventive measure for the control of local irritants.”
During the dental checkup, your dentist will look for cavities and tooth decay. Your dentist may take digital x-rays to detect cavities between your teeth. The dental exam will also include your dentist checking for plaque and tartar on your teeth. Plaque is a clear, sticky layer of bacteria. If it is not removed, it can harden and become tartar (dental calculus). You cannot remove tartar with brushing and flossing. If plaque and tartar build-up on your teeth which can lead to serious gum disease, and oral diseases.
Check for Gum Disease
Your gums will be checked next. A special tool is used to measure the depth of the spaces between your teeth and gums. With healthy gums, the spaces are shallow. When people have gum disease, the spaces will be deeper.
Your dental checkup may also include an examination of your tongue, throat, face, head, and neck, to look for any signs of swelling, redness, or possible signs of cancer.
Your teeth will also be cleaned during your dental visit. Brushing and flossing help clean the plaque from your teeth, but you need a dental professional to remove the tartar. During the cleaning, your dental hygienist will use special tools to remove tartar. This is called scaling. Once the large tartar pieces are removed, scalers are used to remove plaque and smaller tartar deposits.
After your teeth are scaled, they will be polished. This helps to remove any surface stains on your teeth. The last step is flossing to ensure the areas between your teeth are clean.
Between your Dental Checkups
Between your regular dental checkups, be sure to take care of your teeth and gums. Plaque is always forming on your teeth, but it can be managed by brushing and flossing regularly. Below are dental tips for good oral care at home.
– Brush your teeth at least twice a day (morning and night). Be sure to use a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
– Floss your teeth daily.
– Use a mouthwash to help control plaque bacteria. This will also help to keep your breath fresh. OTC mouthwash includes ACT Total Care or Dry Mouth, Colgate Total Pro-Shield, Crest Pro-Health, and Listerine Cool Mint Antiseptic.
Remember that you should schedule dental visits at least twice a year or as recommended by your dental professional. Webster Dental is located at 1121 Warren Avenue, Suite 130, in Downers Grove, Illinois. Webster Dental maintains an unwavering commitment to providing our patients with an unparalleled experience through expert dental care and outstanding customer service. Whether it’s a dental check-up, routine cleaning, teeth whitening, or more involved dental work such as veneers, our dental team is always here for you.