Ideally twice a year, you'll see your dentist for a regular oral exam. These checkups allow them to identify any oral health issues and create a plan to treat them as needed.
During your exam, your dentist will closely check the condition of your teeth, bite, gums and jaw. Exams might also involve dental X-rays, oral cancer screening and other diagnostic procedures.
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer can impact any part of the mouth or its surrounding tissues. The dentist will assess your face, neck, lips, throat, tissues, gums and tongue for any signs of oral cancer that can be difficult to detect with an untrained eye.
Oral Health Care at Home
Make sure to brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day for two minutes each time, and floss once per day to keep your smile healthy between dental appointments.
Before or after your exam, your dental hygienist will perform a deep cleaning of your teeth and gums to prevent and treat disease.
To begin, they will use a scaler to remove any tartar and plaque build-up. Next, they will use a polisher and coarse toothpaste to remove any leftover stains or plaque, followed by thorough flossing of your teeth and gums.
If you or your child has a high risk of tooth decay, your dentist may also recommend a fluoride treatment. Fluoride is a natural mineral that can help to rebuild the minerals in your tooth enamel to prevent or reverse tooth decay.