(Everyday Health, 2007)
To keep a healthy mouth and overall health, it is important to brush and floss your teeth and also get a dental checkup every six months.
When you are getting a dental checkup by your dentist, there are some things you can expect to happen:
- Your dental hygienist will use a special instrument called a hand scaler or ultrasonic dental instrument to clean and remove the tartar from your teeth. They will then polish your teeth, often with a rotating rubber cup or brush, to remove any remaining plaque or stains.
- When your dentist finishes, he or she will explain any problem he detected while cleaning your teeth and will dictate some directions on how to address it.
- On your dental checkup, your dentist will examine your teeth, gums, and mouth, to look for changes or signs of a problem such as a cavity or gum disease or early signs of oral cancer. During this examination, they may also use a special probe to measure the “pockets” between your teeth and gums, an explorer tool to poke at your teeth and determine if any cavities are present, and a mouth mirror to get a better view of the sides and back of your teeth. If you have any visible problems, your dentist may recommend a particular treatment or may refer you to a specialist, such as a periodontist or orthodontist, for further treatment.
- You might get X-rays as well, as your doctor may want to check for any dental problems. As they expose you to radiation, make sure to bring your old x-rays in order to avoid having them done more than necessary.
If you are visiting a dentist for the first time, you will probably have a comprehensive examination. The purpose of this is to thoroughly examine your mouth, head and neck, discuss your medical history and take a series of X-rays to keep on file and be able to address any problem you might have.
As to take the most advantage from your dentist visit, you should tell them any illness you have been diagnosed with since your last visit, any medications or supplements you take or any changes you have notice with your teeth, gums, or the inside of your mouth.
The Dental Checkup, Everyday Health, accessed July 22nd, 2018, <http:// www.everydayhealth.com/dental-health/you-and-your-dentist.aspx>