Booking a checkup with your dentist on a regular basis is important to maintain good oral health. And as your dentist pokes around in your mouth looking for signs of tooth decay, there are other steps that they perform each and every checkup. If you’re curious as to what’s really going on when you lay back with your mouth cranked open, here’s what a regular checkup consists of here.
Cleaning and Polishing
After you’ve gotten comfy in the chair, either your dentist or dental hygienist will take on the task of cleaning and polishing your teeth. They will use a specialized instrument that’s referred to as a hand scaler or an ultrasonic dental instrument. Either of these tools is used to scape away any built up tartar and plaque on your teeth and gum line. After the scraping, your teeth will then get polished. Your dentist uses a tool that applies a lightly abrasive paste to the surface of your teeth. After polishing and rinsing the paste from your mouth, you may then be given a fluoride solution of foam that will strengthen and protect your teeth and gums.
Examining the Teeth
After the cleaning, every regular checkup will consist of a general examination – sometimes performed before having your teeth cleaned. Your dentist will use a metal probe and mirror to thoroughly assess each tooth to pinpoint any signs of decay or inflammation. Any signs of swelling and redness can point to early onset of gum disease. The dentist will also analyze your teeth for any signs of tooth grinding. And if you ever notice your dentist prodding around your neck, this is also common practice for examining any signs of oral cancer. Your dentist will feel around to assess the lymph glands and soft tissues throughout your mouth.
Ask About General Health
Once the examination is complete, your dentist will then ask about the condition of your general health and any specific problems you’ve been having or noticing with your teeth, gums, and mouth, lately. Your dentist will educate you on any options or treatments if there are issues or suggest X-Rays or a future appointment to target any problem areas.
During the wrap up for your regular checkup, your dentist will offer some advice on your habits and oral hygiene based on the condition of your teeth. This could involve flossing more, brushing more thoroughly, or quitting smoking. And finally, you’ll discuss an appropriate date for your next visit.
So if you were ever curious about the entire process of what a regular checkup consists of, there you have it! At Rockcliffe Dental, we love when our patients are informed. Call today to schedule your next checkup!