Seeing your dentist twice a year is something you just do. It’s a must-have, can’t-miss kind of appointment, but these visits are also easily taken for granted. If you’re super busy or feel like your teeth are healthy, you may decide to skip a visit. But there is nothing you can do at home that compares with a professional teeth cleaning.

Your dentist and hygienist work together to deliver a thorough cleaning for your teeth as well as a complete examination of your oral health. Here are the important measures that happen at your teeth cleanings.

1. Clean

You might brush religiously at home, but your hygienist’s scaler tool does the real magic, scraping away six months of plaque and tartar from your enamel and along the gum line. Those hard-to-reach molars, that pesky overlapped tooth – your hygienist will get rid of the build-up in all the tight spaces.

2. Polish

A polisher tool cleans the surface of your teeth then polishes them until they’re super-smooth. Your smile will gleam, and this effort will help prevent plaque from accumulating.

3. Floss

Sure, your dental floss gets in between your teeth really well – but do you actually floss daily like you’re supposed to? Your hygienist will know right away.

4. Examine

The dental exam that occurs during every teeth cleaning lets your Hampton dentist review your oral health.

  • Teeth: Any teeth that look suspicious get further attention and recommendations will be made about any dental restorations that you might need to ward off cavities or other problems.
  • Gums: Your gums are just as important as your teeth. Your dentist will check them carefully for signs of gum disease, including redness, swelling, bleeding, and the dept of the pockets between your teeth and gums.
  • Bite: If you are grinding or clenching your teeth, your dentist will likely notice the wear and tear on your tooth enamel if the problem is severe. If you have any discomfort in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), this is the time to mention it. You can discuss the necessity of any neuromuscular treatments to relieve you of pain or a customized mouthguard to protect your teeth from the damage they can inflict on each other.

5. Oral cancer screening

Oral cancer is not easy for anyone with an untrained eye to see. Your dentist, however, know exactly what to look for and can spot the early signs. In an oral cancer screening, all the soft tissues of your mouth are carefully reviewed for concerning areas, including your cheeks, tongue, and palate, as well as your lymph nodes, neck, and head.

6. Discussion

Your dental cleanings are the time to talk to your dentist and hygienist about all your oral health questions. Wonder what kind of toothbrush and toothpaste to use? Want to know why those over-the-counter whitening strips don’t work? Suspect you have a cavity? Think you might be a good candidate for Invisalign? Ready to upgrade your smile with cosmetic dentistry?

All your questions are valid and welcome. Take advantage of the time you have with your oral health experts at every teeth cleaning. We are always eager and ready at Smiles by the Sea to answer your questions. Contact us to schedule your teeth cleaning.