Dental cleanings and exams are the foundation of good oral health. It’s critical for everyone to see their dentist every six months for this checkup if you want to avoid decay, infection, and other dental problems. There are so many important steps that go on during these dental visits you may not even be aware of all of them. Here’s the scoop.

1. Removal of plaque and tartar

Your dental hygienist uses a scaler to scrape away plaque and tartar build-up on your enamel and around the gum line. This part of your teeth cleaning takes the most time, even if you’re a great brusher and flosser at home. You simply can’t get to all the nooks and crannies like a hygienist can, and it’s so important to have someone reach those very back molars and other pesky spots.

2. Polishing

Instead of brushing your teeth at your dental cleaning, your hygienist polishes them. This step cleans the surface of your teeth and leaves the enamel super-smooth, a preventive measure that helps stop plaque from accumulating too quickly.

3. Flossing

Getting in between your teeth with dental floss will be easy or uncomfortable, depending on whether you floss thoroughly every day. Your dental hygienist can always tell when a patient doesn’t floss – better to just do it and make this visit comfortable and keep your teeth in good shape.

4. Dental Exam

Your Hampton general dentist thoroughly reviews the health of your teeth and gums during your dental exam to ensure that everything looks healthy and problem free. Using a probe and small mirror, your dentist will look to see if there have been any changes since your last visit or if there are any suspicious areas that need to be addressed or watched.

The health of your gums is just as important as your teeth, so your dentist will look for any signs of early gum disease, check for gum recession, and measure the pockets between your teeth and gums. Gum disease is the top cause of tooth loss among adults, and though the disease can wreak major havoc, it is slow-growing. Keeping up with your regular dental check-ups ensures that any gingivitis is caught early before it has an opportunity to cause major oral health problems.

5. Oral cancer screening

An oral cancer screening is done at every dental visit. You’ll know you’re undergoing this brief but thorough exam when your dentist checks in and around your tongue, palate, neck, lymph nodes, and cheeks. Oral cancer, when caught early, can usually be easily treated. Regular exams ensure that this disease does not have the opportunity to progress.

6. Bite check

The condition of your bite is critical to maintaining good oral health. Your dentist will look to see if there is any shifting of your bite or enamel erosion that could come from grinding and clenching your teeth. Multiple oral health problems can develop from a bite issue, and having TMJ problems treated or being fitted with a nightguard can ward off complications before they have a chance to become severe and threaten your overall oral health.

Get a Dental Checkup in Hampton, NH

Your dental exams and teeth cleanings are your opportunity to talk to your dentist about any questions or concerns, to learn more about cosmetic dentistry treatments that might be right for you, and to develop a plan to maintain good oral health. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.