Tooth grinding is a surprisingly common dental issue that involves involuntary clenching and grinding of teeth. It may seem like a minor concern, but if you suffer from tooth grinding,...
Why is it so important you get your dental checkup twice a year? The truth is, your twice-yearly checkup is a lot more than a simple cleaning. There is often quite a lot more going on at dental checkups than patients realize. You might be surprised to find out all that happens during your regular dentist visits.
Your oral exam is a thorough look at your teeth, gums, and other areas of your mouth. Dentists search for a long list of symptoms to evaluate not only your dental health but your overall health as well.
Periodontal disease (known as gum disease or gingivitis) is the leading cause of tooth loss. Dentists can detect the early stages of gum disease with a simple oral exam. The sooner gum disease is detected, the easier it is to treat and better the outlook.
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer in men and occurs in women as well. It can appear on the soft tissue of your lips, gums, cheeks, tongue, throat, and roof or floor of your mouth. The sooner oral cancer is discovered, the more likely it is that treatment will be successful. At every checkup, Dr. Baudean carefully screens for a long list of oral cancers by asking a series of questions and closely examining your head, neck, mouth, and throat for signs and symptoms.
Signs of Other Health Problems
Believe it or not, your mouth can show early indications of a whole host of other conditions. Dr. Baudean is looking for signs of many different medical problems in addition to oral cancers, including:
- Celiac disease
- Sjogren’s syndrome
- Kidney disease
X-rays are typically recommended once per year, so you may get them done at some appointments but not others. They are a simple way to see what is going on below the surface of your teeth. X-rays can detect impacted teeth, cavities, tooth decay, and more.
In addition to Dr. Baudean’s thorough exam of your mouth for the health of your teeth, gums, and other health conditions, our dental hygienist will give you a deep cleaning. This cleaning has several steps and goes far above and beyond what can be done at home, even with impeccable oral hygiene habits. You will leave your appointment with your mouth feeling incredibly fresh and clean. And beyond that refreshing feeling, your twice-yearly cleaning helps keep your teeth and gums healthy. Like your oral exam, there is a lot that goes into this cleaning.
The dental hygienist will begin by using a small tool to scrape away hardened debris, known as plaque and tartar. If left on your teeth, these can lead to decay. While regular brushing and flossing can help keep plaque and tartar at bay, this cleaning will be even more thorough.
This step is basically high-tech brushing. Using a powerful electric toothbrush and specialized professional-strength toothpaste, the hygienist will clean and polish your teeth. This type of cleaning is stronger than what you would want to do on a daily basis, but it is safe and effective when done professionally twice a year.
Like the professional-level tooth brushing your hygienist performs, he or she can get a deeper clean when flossing than you can accomplish at home.
Your hygienist will give your mouth a thorough rinse to clean away any remaining debris loosed by the deep cleaning.
Fluoride is an essential mineral for strengthening and protecting your tooth enamel (the outer layer of your teeth). You may have fluoride in your tap water and use fluoride toothpaste, which is great! But getting a fluoride treatment at your checkup provides even more protection.
Schedule Your Checkup
Now that you know all that goes on during your regular dental appointments, you can understand why it is so important to get your regular checkup and cleaning. Call us to schedule your visit today!