Maintaining good oral health is highly essential to the overall health of any person. Besides daily brushing and flossing, you can help protect your oral health by visiting your dentist regularly for checkups. And, based on your dental health history, your dentist may propose more frequent or fewer visits, but it is recommended that most people get a dental checkup every six months.
What to Expect in a Typical Dental Checkup
Not all dentists operate the same way, but a typical dental checkup involves:
Cleaning and Polishing
The first thing is cleaning and polishing. Here, the dentist will use a hand scaler to scrape and remove the tartar from your teeth and then polish your teeth using a rotating rubber cup or brush to remove any leftover plaque or stains.
After the cleaning, the dentist will examine your teeth, gums, and mouth. This is to check for any changes or signs of a problem such as a cavity or gum disease or early signs of oral cancer. In a comprehensive examination, the dentist thoroughly examines your mouth, head and neck and at the end discuss you medical history with you and educate you on the right thing you need to do for your dental health.
As part of the examination, the dentist may decide to take X-rays of your teeth to check for any decay, gum disease, or other dental problems. He or she may also probe further to measure the pockets between your teeth and gums, poke an explorer tool at your teeth to know if any cavities are present, and use the mouth mirror get a better view of the sides and back of your teeth. If it is discovered that you have any visible problems, your dentist may recommend a further treatment or refer you to another specialist, such as a periodontist or orthodontist.
After the examination, your dentist will discuss with you any dental hygiene problems he or she has detected and if necessary, educate you on how to brush and floss more effectively.
How to Get the Best of Dental Checkup
To get the most out of your dental checkup, always ensure to do the following:
- Communicate in a timely manner, any concerns or problems you are having with your dentist. Quickly report any problems or changes you’ve noticed with your teeth, gums, or the inside of your mouth – the earlier the dentist knows about this, the earlier he or she can diagnose and treat it.
- Inform your dentist of any new health problems you have been diagnosed with since your last visit e.g. diabetes, heart-related disease, etc.
- Take with you to the checkup list of all medications and supplements you take, including their dosages for the dentist to review them.