Do you brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily at home? That is an excellent oral hygiene routine. However, this effort isn’t enough to keep your teeth problem free forever. A professional teeth cleaning every six months is critical to ensure that your mouth is healthy and your smile is strong and fully functional. Here are just some of the important things that happen during your checkup.
1. Removal of Plaque and Tartar
Stuff builds up on your teeth, whether you like it or not. Sure, you brush and floss, but you can’t see or reach every nook and cranny to remove the really pesky substances. Your hygienist’s tools, however, can scrape away buildup and get to the spots you cannot. A thorough flossing follows, as well as a teeth polishing that makes your enamel smooth and helps prevent plaque from accumulating too soon.
2. Gum Check
Gum disease can strike anyone at any age. Your dentist will check for the early signs of this disease – known as gingivitis – at every appointment. Tender, swollen, red gums may not stick out to you, but your dentist will notice them and measure the pockets between your teeth and gums before getting treatment underway.
3. Examination of Bite and TMJ
Your bite tells your dentist a lot about your oral health. If something has changed, your dentist will want to know about your habits, whether you have any symptoms like morning headaches or jaw pain, or if you grind your teeth at night. Gone untended, issues like this can lead to chronic pain, as well as cracked or worn teeth, gum recession, and more problems. Treating any TMJ or grinding issues with a customized nightguard can make all the difference.
4. Oral Cancer Screening
You may not even realize that your dentist is conducting an oral cancer screening most of the time. The exam is quick but thorough, and includes a review of the cheeks, palate, tongue, neck, and lymph nodes for any signs of cancer or infection. Oral cancer is highly treatable if caught early, but the signs are so subtle you need your dentist’s practiced eye to notice long before you ever would.
5. Teeth Check
Your dentist does a careful check of all your teeth using a small mirror and probe, identifying any suspicious areas and seeing if there have been any changes since your last dental visit. This is also when any digital x-rays are reviewed to make sure nothing untoward is happening under the crowns of your teeth.
Every dental visit is your opportunity to talk to your dentist about your oral health. Are you curious whether Invisalign might work for you? Is there a spot that is hurting you or causing occasional pain? Do you want to upgrade your smile with cosmetic dentistry like teeth whitening or porcelain veneers? This is the time to discuss all your questions and concerns with your dentist.
Schedule your teeth cleaning with Dr. Kiran Gill and her team at Natural Smiles in Louisville, KY. It’s time to prioritize your teeth and make your smile shine. Contact us today.