Dental exams sound intimidating, what can I expect at a normal dental exam and cleaning?

A dental exam is nothing to be afraid of. Yes, your dentist will ask you a few questions about yourself, but this is no pop quiz. You’ll know every answer, like “How often do you floss?” And with state-of-the-art, minimally invasive technology like digital x-rays and laser dentistry, patient comfort has never been better!

One of the best ways to ensure a happy, healthy clean mouth is to have regular dental exams and cleanings. As a rule of thumb, it is a good idea to have your teeth examined and cleaned at least twice a year. In the dental world (like the rest of the world) prevention is the best medicine, so consistent visits to your dentist will be much more helpful and pleasant in the long run than avoiding a check-up until you have an emergency.

Having regular dental exams is very important to your overall health. During your dental exam, your dentist will look at your teeth and gums, check for cavities, and take x-rays if necessary. X-rays are often necessary to check for tooth decay, bone loss, possible tumors or cysts, plus they allow the dentist to see if your teeth or roots have shifted.

If this is your first visit, she will also need to know your medical history. Be sure to talk to your dentist about any medications you may be taking. Your mouth is a delicate balance of good and bad bacteria, and a surprisingly good indicator of overall health.

During the exam, your dentist or hygienist will check for plaque on your teeth as well as cavities. If you have fillings or other dental work, your dentist will check to make sure they are in good condition. They will check to make sure there are no loose or broken crowns or fillings. If a problem is found, your dentist will advise you of the best treatment option.

During your dental cleaning, your dentist will remove any plaque build-up from each tooth. Although brushing at home is critical in avoiding cavities, the dental office is equipped with special tools that can remove more plaque and tartar. Tartar is hardened plaque that you can’t brush off, from above and below your gum line. Plaque is constantly forming on your teeth, and if plaque and subsequent tartar are not removed, you risk tooth loss. Your dentist will also polish your teeth. This helps to remove stains and helps make them look pearly white, giving you the best smile possible.

Your dentist will also talk to you about oral hygiene and can recommend the best products for your teeth and health. She may also discuss your diet and eating habits. Proper nutrition is vital to healthy teeth and gums, and to your overall health and wellness. This is a great time to talk to your dentist about any questions or concerns you may have about your teeth and the best way to preserve your smile.

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