The Dental Checkup
Aside from daily brushing and flossing, you can maintain your oral health by seeing your dentist regularly for checkups. It is recommended that you get a dental checkup every six months, but your dentist may recommend more frequent or fewer visits, depending on your dental health history.
What to Expect?
A dental checkup typically involves:
- Cleaning and polishing.
Your dentist will use a special instrument to scrape and remove the tartar from your teeth. He will then polish your teeth to remove any remaining plaque or stains.
Your dentist will discuss any dental problems that were detected and show you how you can treat or prevent them more effectively.
Your dentist will examine your teeth, gums, and mouth, to look for changes or signs of a problem. If you have any visible problems, your dentist may recommend a particular treatment or may refer you to a specialist for further treatment.
Sometimes you may need a more thorough dental checkup. You will probably have a comprehensive examination the first time you see a dentist, and periodically after that. During a comprehensive dental examination, your dentist will:
- Thoroughly examine your mouth, head, and neck
- Discuss your medical history with you
- Take a series of X-rays
Getting the Most Out of Your Dental Checkup
It is important to communicate any concerns or problems you have with your dentist. Be sure to:
- Tell your dentist about any new health problems you have been diagnosed with since your last visit.
- Make a list of all medications and supplements you take, including their dosages.
- Talk with your dentist about any changes you’ve noticed with your teeth, gums, or the inside of your mouth.
- The earlier your dentist knows about pain, sensitivity, or a suspicious lump, the earlier he or she can diagnose and treat it.