Ideally, you'll see your dentist twice a year for regular oral exams. These checkups allow your dentist the opportunity to detect any oral health issues and develop a plan to treat them accordingly.
During your exam, the dentist will take a close look at the health of your teeth, gums, bite and jaw. Dental X-rays, an oral cancer screening and other diagnostic procedures may also be recommended.
Oral Cancer Screening
Any part of the mouth or surrounding tissues can be affected by oral cancer. During your exam, the dentist will inspect the face, neck, lips, tongue, tissues, gums and throat for any signs of oral cancer which can be difficult to detect with the naked eye.
Oral Health Care at Home
Make sure to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, and floss at least once per day to keep your smile healthy between dental checkups.
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 a 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.