Why Do You Need Dental Exams before Cleaning?
The ADA and most dental experts recommend visiting your dentist for exams and cleanings at least every six months. Even when your dental health feels perfectly healthy, routine dental and cleanings play a vital role in maintaining perfect oral health, function, and appearance.
When scheduling a dental cleaning, you might have heard that dentist or hygienist might have to examine your mouth too. Fortunately, you shouldn’t worry as the exam is quick and painless. But why is that important?
Importance of a dental exam before Cleaning
Even when your oral health, you may still have oral issues. Most oral problems like tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer might not show any evident symptoms at their early stages. For instance, oral cancer can begin with a simple pimple, which most people will ignore.
During a dental exam, the dentist examines your teeth, gums, palate, throat, and other areas of your oral cavity. They check early signs of potential oral issues like decay, gum disease, bone loss, oral cancer, dental injuries, and jawbone disorders.
Most of these issues are easy, quick, and relatively cheap to treat when caught early. Early treatment also helps protect your future oral health. Without routine dental exams, oral problems will likely develop to severe stages without notice, threatening your oral health and causing the need for expensive and invasive dental procedures.
What Happens During a Dental Cleaning?
Once you get to the dental office, the dentist will begin with a physical exam and then cleaning.
During the exam, the dentist will use a small mirror and other tools to examine your mouth for potential concerns. If necessary, the dentist might take X-rays and images to assess the inside of your teeth, bone, and other issues.
Impressions are also necessary to check the alignment of your bite. They can also make the required dental restorations or work like Invisalign and mouthguards.
As part of the exam, the dentist will also inspect your mouth for cosmetic issues like teeth stains, damage, and misalignments. If any problem is detected, the dentist will create a treatment plan to address your issue and protect your oral health.
Tooth Cleaning Procedure
After the exam, the dentist will go ahead and clean your mouth. The dentist uses a dental scaler and other tools to scrap off plaque and tartar on your teeth and gums. The dentist might use a minor to guide them through the cleaning process. The more the build-up of deposits, the more time the process will take.
If not cleaned, plaque and tartar can release acids that attack teeth and gums, causing decay and gum disease. Once tartar has formed, you can’t remove it with regular brushing and flossing. You can only remove it at the dentist’s office. Brushing daily and routine dental cleanings will help minimize plaque and tartar buildup in the mouth.
After removing bacterial deposits, the dentist or hygienist will brush your teeth with an electric brush and gritty toothpaste. While it might sound scary, it’s painless and very effective at removing any leftover bacterial debris.
Then, the dentist will floss deep between your teeth to remove any plaques and debris. Next, the dentist will rinse your mouth to eliminate any leftover debris. The mouth rinse often contains fluoride. If necessary, the dentist can also provide fluoride treatment and other preventive treatments like dental sealants.
Before leaving, the dentist discusses the results of the appointment. They may also give you tips on maintaining a cleaner and healthier mouth. Also, make sure to book your follow-up appointments.
Benefits of Routine Dental Cleaning and Exams
Routine dental cleanings exams are beneficial for several reasons, including:
- Removes plaque and tartar, preventing potential oral problems like cavities, bad breath, tooth loss, and decay
- Improves your oral hygiene and health
- Improves your self-esteem and confidence
- Facilitates early treatment of dental problems
- Brightens teeth and gives a fresh breath
- Improves your overall health
Other Tips to Care for Your Smile
- Brush at least twice daily. Use a soft-bristled or electric toothbrush.
- Use fluoride toothpaste.
- Avoid or limit sugary items.
- Eat a balanced and healthy diet.
- Avoid damaging habits like chewing nails or ice.
- Avoid tobacco products.
- Seek on-time treatment for oral issues.
- Schedule routine dental assessments.
Schedule an Appointment Today
Are you ready to schedule your next dental exam and cleaning appointment? Or do you need other general dentistry treatments? Contact Greenlake Dental to speak with our dentist in Seattle.