What Dentists Look For During a Routine Cleaning

It’s recommended that you visit your dentist at least twice per year. Even if you don’t have any mouth pain or any pressing issues that you feel might need professional care, a visit to the dentist’s office for a routine examination and cleaning can help prevent any serious problems from popping up unexpectedly.

During a regular dental exam visit, the dentist or dental hygienist will do the following:

  • Ask a series of questions to assess your overall health and oral hygiene habits. They’ll want to know if you’ve been experiencing any issues with your teeth since the last visit and how often you’ve been brushing and flossing.
  • Perform a visual examination to ascertain the state of your teeth. They’ll evaluate for the presence of any plaque or cavities and determine your risk for tooth decay, root decay, and gum diseases such as gingivitis or periodontitis.
  • Evaluate the need for tooth repair or tooth replacement or extraction. The dentist will determine if you’ll need work beyond a simple examination and cleaning, such as the need to have a tooth pulled or a possible filling or crown.
  • Examine your teeth, bite and jaw for problems, such as improper alignment or grinding. The dentist make take several X-rays of your mouth to determine if there are any underlying problems.
  • Remove any stains or deposits on your teeth. Any tartar or plaque that’s built up since your last visit can be cleaned off and the teeth will be professionally polished.
  • Demonstrate proper cleaning techniques for your teeth and recommend use of oral hygiene products. If you’re dentist doesn’t believe you’ve been keeping good enough care of your teeth between visits, they’ll give you tips to improve your oral hygiene habits.

A regular practice of brushing, flossing, and regular dental exams can help make sure you maintain a healthy smile.