A regular dental check-up at Rely Dental in Irving and Benbrook Texas is important because they help keep your teeth and gums healthy. You should have a regular dental visit at least every 6 months or as recommended by your dental professional.
What happens at your dental visit?
There are 2 parts to a regular dental visit – checkup, or examination and the cleaning, or oral prophylaxis at Rely Dental in Irving and Benbrook Texas.
At the dental check up your dental professional will check for cavities. X-rays might be taken to detect cavities between your teeth. The exam will also include a check for plaque and tartar on your teeth. Plaque is a clear, sticky layer of bacteria. If it is not removed, it can harden and become tartar. You cannot remove tartar with brushing and flossing. If plaque and tartar build-up on your teeth, they can cause oral diseases.
Next, your gums will be checked. This will be done with a special tool to measure the depth of the spaces between your teeth and gums. With healthy gums, the spaces are shallow. When people have gum disease, the spaces may become deeper.
The check-up should also include a careful examination of your tongue, throat, face, head, and neck. This is to look for any signs of trouble – swelling, redness, or possible signs of cancer.
Your teeth will also be cleaned at your visit. Brushing and flossing help clean the plaque from your teeth, but you can’t remove tartar at home. During the cleaning, your dental professional will use special tools to remove tartar. This is called scaling
After your teeth are scaled, they may be polished. In most cases, a gritty paste is used for this. It helps to remove any surface stains on your teeth. The final step is flossing. Your dental professional will use floss to make sure the areas between your teeth are clean.
What you should do between each dental visit
Be sure to take care of your teeth and gums between regular dental visits. Plaque is always forming on your teeth, but you can manage it by brushing and flossing regularly. Here are some tips for good oral care at home.
Dental checkups prevent plaque, tartar, cavities and tooth decay
Even the most fastidious person can fail to clean the hard-to-reach places in their mouth. A good example is the back molars, which are notoriously hard to clean. That is why every person should see a dentist every six months.
The dentist will examine the patient’s teeth to look for early signs of tooth decay. If the dentist finds small cavities or white spots on the teeth, they will start the patient on fluoride treatment to reverse the decay and treat larger cavities with dental fillings.
Next, the dentist will perform a professional tooth cleaning to remove plaque or tartar from the teeth and gums. This will protect the teeth and gums from attacks by harmful bacteria that make their home in plaque and tartar.
Routine dental visits keep gum disease at bay
For the most part, the early stages of gum disease have no symptoms. This makes it hard for a person to detect gum disease in their mouths. Luckily, dentists are trained to spot gum disease even when it tries to hide.
During a routine checkup, the dentist will make sure that the gums are firm. They will check for swelling, receding gums, and deep gum pockets. If the dentist finds any of these worrying symptoms, they will treat the underlying cause.
Usually, early gum disease goes away when a patient improves their oral habits, and a dentist will gladly guide their patient on how to take care of their gums.
Dentists use routine checkups to check for oral cancer
In addition to examining the teeth and the gums, a dentist will look for signs of oral cancer in their patient’s mouth. This is great because if oral cancer goes undetected, it can develop into a life-threatening illness.
The dentist uses a special light to look for dead tissue caused by tumors. The exam is called a VELscope cancer exam. It is painless and only takes a minute or two.
With this exam, a person who sees the dentist every six months has little chance of developing late-stage oral cancer.
Routine checkups can detect systemic health issues
Another part of dental checkups is the head and neck exam. The dentist will check the lymph nodes, neck and jaws for swelling, lumps, deformities, and any other symptoms of illness. If a problem is found, the dentist will refer the patient to the appropriate medical professional.
This is one reason that a person should look forward to their dental checkups. They get to have their thyroid checked for the low, low price of a dental checkup. What is not to love?
Quick facts about a regular dental check-up
We love our patients and love to help them form healthy dental life that will last them a lifetime. For more information call us today to answer all of your questions, so get an appointment today.