The Importance of Dental Exams and Professional Cleanings

Nov 20, 2014 @ 12:42 PM — by Lauren Shanard

Close-up of a dental tool being held to a woman's mouthThough brushing and flossing daily are necessary for maintaining good oral health, brushing and flossing alone can't always remove plaque and tartar buildup or reverse dental damage. This is where regular dental exams and professional cleanings come in. Regular dental exams and cleanings are important for preventing damaging tartar buildup and catching dental problems at their earliest stages. Dr. Lauren Shanard offers many restorative dentistry treatments to repair the health and appearance of your smile. Read on to learn how our Williston patients benefit from regular dental exams and professional cleanings.   

What Should I Expect During a Dental Exam and Cleaning?

Regular dental exams and professional cleanings should be a part of every oral hygiene routine. Patients should undergo dental exams and cleanings at least once every six months. Dental exams and cleanings are painless and quick. They are also a good time to discuss any oral health concerns with your dentist, as well as learn about better dental hygiene techniques. Though the specifics of each exam will vary by patient, a typical dental exam will include:

  • Assessing the teeth for signs of decay, fractures, or other damage
  • Assessing the gums for signs of gum disease, inflammation, or abnormalities
  • Assessing the overall state of your mouth for possible signs of cancer, vitamin deficiencies, or other abnormalities
  • X-rays may be taken to evaluate the jaw and state of the teeth below the gum line
  • Professional cleaning

Professional dental cleanings are almost always performed with regular dental exams. Professional cleanings are important for the removal of plaque and tartar buildup, both of which can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. During a professional cleaning, metal scraping tools, water picks, and floss are used to gently remove debris from the teeth, especially along the gum line. Cleanings are completed with polishing of the teeth and rinsing with fluoride mouthwash.

The Importance of Dental Exams and Cleanings

Regular dental exams and professional cleanings are just as important to oral health as brushing and flossing daily. Despite the most thorough brushing and flossing, tartar can still develop in hard to reach places; this is why professional cleanings are so important to oral health. Here are just a few other reasons to schedule routine dental exams:

  • Lower your risk for tooth decay: Regular dental exams and cleanings help reduce the risk of tooth decay when combined with regular brushing and flossing.
  • Prevent gum disease: Regular dental exams and professional cleanings reduce bacteria, plaque, and tartar buildup along the gum line, reducing the potential for gum disease.
  • Stop problems before they become severe: Catching dental and oral health issues at their earliest stages allows for more minor treatments which tend to cost less and have quicker recovery times. Stopping dental problems at their earliest signs can help save the teeth from major damage or even tooth loss.
  • Save money: Regular dental exams and cleanings can help save you money over time by helping you avoid the need for costly dental treatments. 
  • Protect your overall health: Oral health issues can affect overall health. Keeping your mouth healthy is just one component to keeping your body healthy. Regular dental exams and cleanings are key to maintaining oral health.

Schedule Your Next Appointment

Enjoy a healthier smile. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Shanard today!

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