What to expect at a routine dental check-up and cleaning

All of us receive reminder calls from the dentist’s office for check-ups. However, it is the responsibility of each patient to show up for their appointment. We understand that there may be cases where the thought of sitting in a dental office may cause anxiety, but it is vital to get it done. Routine check-ups and teeth cleaning keeps our mouths and bodies healthy. It also saves money over time. Consider this – regular check-ups and dental cleaning prevent diseases like gingivitis and other conditions which impact your overall health. It is much easier to address problems at the start than dealing with root canals and implants later on.

What to expect during a check-up

Your oral health and general health have a married relationship. The first step a dentist takes is to update and review your medical history. Routine X-rays are taken as needed to check for any issues. These days, oral cancer screenings are part of every check-up. This condition is quite common. However, the good news is that the survival rates are high with early detection.

Gum disease is classified as the number one cause of tooth loss and is closely linked to other health concerns. For example, gum disease may increase the risk for Alzheimer’s and heart problems. A regular check-up includes an annual gum exam, after which treatment recommendations are made. As part of the check-up, existing dental work is also examined to see if any work is needed other than teeth cleaning. Based on the exam, you will be told about the necessary procedures. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the required process. Then we’ll let you know what we found and answer any questions you may have.

The process of a dental cleaning

The dental cleaningprocess is straightforward. Special tools are used with care to remove plaque, tartar, and calculus from around your teeth. If sedation is needed, it is offered to patients. Once all deposits are removed from your teeth, a polish is used to make your teeth and mouth feel clean and fresh. At every visit, you get tips on how to keep your teeth clean until your next visit. Patient comfort is a top priority – so don’t hesitate to talk to your dentist freely before a procedure.

Four types of dental cleaning

If you are at the dentist and need specific treatments, here is a look at some procedures you may have to undergo.

  • Gross debridement is a procedure in which built-up tartar and plaque are removed around and between the teeth and gums. Such a buildup causes the gums to inflame and needs to be done before the dentist can complete an exam and recommend further procedures.
  • Periodontal maintenance refers to thorough teethcleaning. This is essential to stop gingivitis and other conditions. This procedure is done when the gums are inflamed.
  • Prophylaxis cleaning is almost the same as periodontal maintenance. This procedure is routine, and it is key to stopping oral health issues from becoming severe.
  • Scaling and root planing is a dental cleaning procedure that is done below the gum line. It is mainly performed to treat gum disease. Root planing is done to ensure that the tooth root is smoothed and the gum is reattached to the tooth. This may need more than one visit to the dentist to fix the issue.

How to maintain oral health with regular check-ups

Maintaining good oral health is an everyday activity. A few simple things listed below will help in keeping you healthy for a long time.

1. Cut down on soda and sugary drinks

2. Invest in good equipment like toothbrushes, floss, and hygiene products like mouthwash. There are plenty of choices. Dentists recommend flossing regularly to cut down on plaque buildup.

3. Use the correct brushing technique. If you need some assistance, your dentist will show you how to clean your teeth thoroughly and offer insight on which products are best for your oral hygiene routine. 

4. Snack on foods that will keep the body and mouth healthy, like carrots, cucumbers, pears, and lettuce. These yummy treats are also called detergent foods, cleverly named as they clean the mouth and teeth when eaten.

5. Keep your dental appointments on schedule. Don’t skip any just because you are anxious.

6. Stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water. Water plays a crucial role in oral health as well.

It may seem like a lot to deal with – however, maintaining good oral health with regular check-ups and cleanings will save you a lot of time and trouble. See your dentist on schedule for good health.

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