If you have recently scheduled yourself for a routine dental check-up appointment, you may be wondering what you can expect during your visit. Continue reading to learn more about what happens at dental check-ups.
As the name suggests, a dental check-up is a routine appointment that your dentist or dental hygienist uses to check your oral health. Ultimately, they are a crucial part of preventative dental care.
During your routine dental check-up, your dentist will thoroughly inspect the health of the teeth and gums. Your dental professional will take periodic x-rays to ensure that there is nothing missed by the visual oral examination.
Your dentist checks the following things during your routine dental check-up:
- Space between tooth and gums (known as gingival pockets)
- Overall health and density of the jaw bone
- The overall health and condition of the teeth
The findings of the examination and x-rays are recorded, and if any decay or damage is found you will be consequently planned for corresponding treatment.
After that, you will undergo your routine professional dental cleaning. Plaque and tartar are removed from the surfaces of the teeth and gums. If you have been recommended for gum disease treatment, you will undergo a “deep cleaning”. During a deep cleaning, plaque and tartar are removed from both above and below the gum line. This ultimately prevents the growth of bacteria.
If necessary, you are given a fluoride treatment to help strengthen and protect the tooth enamel. Your hygienist or dentist will then provide you with information and tips for managing your oral health at home.
After your visit is complete, you will then receive your appointment for your next routine check-up.
If your dentist has recommended you for an oral cancer exam during your routine check-up, this does not automatically mean that you are at risk. Oral cancer examinations are a routine and preventative measure taken to ensure that nothing goes undetected.
To check for the presence of oral cancer, your dentist examines the tongue, gums, and throat. Next, you will undergo an oral cancer screening using one of the following methods:
- VELscope: A special UV light passes over the entirety of the mouth. Areas of concern will then illuminate brightly.
- Orascoptic DK: The patient rinses their mouth with a special mouthwash. This mouthwash then causes any areas of concern to change color.
- Oral CDx: A biopsy (tissue sample) is taken and is consequently sent to a lab for testing.
In most cases, oral cancer screenings are simply a precaution to help ensure that you are as healthy as possible. In the case that there is cause for concern, your dentist or dental hygienist will refer you to a specialist immediately.
In most cases, your dental professional completes routine check-up appointments twice each year or every six months.
Patients who undergo gum disease treatment are usually asked to return more frequently. A close eye is kept to ensure that the condition is receiving proper treatment and can not progress. It is quite common for gum disease patients to return every 3-4 months, rather than every 6 months. However, this is usually dependent on the discretion of the dental professional who is handling treatment.
The best way to receive a good report at your routine dental check-up appointment is to ensure that you are practicing proper oral care at home between appointments.
You have your teeth thoroughly and professionally cleaned in the dental office. However, it is absolutely crucial to care for them at home, too. Thoroughly brushing and flossing twice daily is the best way to accomplish this.
Be sure to brush for a minimum of two minutes. Above all, be sure to reach all surfaces of each tooth while you brush. Do your best to reach the molars in the back of the mouth.
Take a section of floss and wrap each end around your middle fingers. Place the floss string between the contacts of two teeth and slide the floss towards the gum line. Use your thumb and first finger to move the string back and forth, wrapping it around the tooth in a “C” shape. After that, clean between all the contacts throughout the mouth until you finish. You can finish off by rinsing with mouthwash to rid the mouth of any lingering bacteria or food debris.
Additionally, another excellent way to prepare for your dental check-ups is to ensure that you are maintaining healthy teeth and gums. You can do this by maintaining a healthy diet.
Foods that are harmful to tooth health include:
- Candy(hard and sticky)
Sugars and acids linger on the surface of the teeth, increasing the bacteria content and contributing to the breakdown of the protective outer layer of enamel. Maintaining a healthy and “tooth-friendly” diet is the best way to ensure a stable environment within the mouth.
Foods and beverages that are good for your teeth include:
The foods listed above help stimulate saliva production, which helps provide a protective barrier against sugars, acids, and bacteria. These foods and beverages also contain valuable nutrients and vitamins that help strengthen and protect the tooth as a whole.
In conclusion, perhaps one of the most important things you can do to maintain a healthy mouth is to ensure that you are receiving regular preventative dental care.
Here at Reza Dental Care, we are proud to help our patients manage their dental health with a thorough check-up and cleaning appointments.
Above all, Reza Dental Care is here to help you maintain a healthy and beautiful smile; we are proud to provide comprehensive dental and orthodontic care in South Gate, California. Searching for the “best dentist near me”? Our team of professionals is here for you. For more information about dental check-up and cleaning appointments or to schedule an appointment in our South Gate dental office, book an appointment online or give us a call at 323-457-8787.