Ideally twice a year, you'll see your dentist for a routine oral exam. This provides them the opportunity to identify any developing oral health issues and create a plan to treat them accordingly.
During your exam, your dentist will closely check the condition of your teeth, gums, jaw and bite. Exams may also include an oral cancer screening, dental x-rays and other diagnostic procedures.
Oral Cancer Screening
Any part of your mouth or surrounding tissues can be impacted by oral cancer. Early detection is key, which is why your dentist will inspect your face, neck, tongue, lips, throat, tissues and gums for any signs of oral cancer, which can be difficult to detect with the naked eye.
Oral Health Care at Home
Following a consistent oral health routine at home is key to keeping your smile healthy between dental appointments. Remember to brush your teeth twice daily for two minutes each time. You should also floss at least once per day.
A deep cleaning of your teeth and gums is an essential part of your oral exam. Your dental hygienist will complete this critical task before or after your exam to prevent and treat disease.
To start, a scaler is used to remove any tartar and plaque buildup. Next, the dental hygienist uses a polisher topped with coarse toothpaste to remove any remaining plaque or stains. The process concludes with a thorough flossing of your teeth and gums.
If your dentist finds that you or your child are at high risk of tooth decay, he or she may also recommend a fluoride treatment. This natural mineral can help to rebuild the minerals in your tooth enamel to prevent or reverse tooth decay.