What happens during a dental exam?
Your exam will begin with a complete medical history to determine your overall health and identify risk factors like diabetes or use of certain medicines that could make you more susceptible to oral health issues. Your teeth will be carefully cleaned to remove plaque and tartar buildup and to look for signs of early gum disease or decay. The hygienist will also be able to tell how well you’ve been brushing and flossing and can provide guidance on how to improve. Next, an in-depth exam of your teeth and gums will be performed to look for signs of decay and disease, and an oral cancer screening will be performed. X-rays may also be ordered to see beneath the gums and inside your teeth. Once the exam is complete, the dentist will discuss any care needs, like fillings or deep-cleaning treatments for gum disease.
Are x-rays safe?
Yes; today’s dental x-rays use very, very low doses of radiation to obtain images of your teeth, which means your exposure is very minimal. Plus, x-rays provide important information about your teeth in areas that can’t be easily seen or evaluated during your exam for better overall health and early, proactive treatment of disease.
How can I keep my teeth and gums in good shape between visits?
Brushing and flossing are the two most important things you can do between visits to maintain great oral health. Ask the hygienist to provide you with tips on how to do both more effectively. Avoid sweet and sticky snacks, don’t chew on hard candies or ice, and never use your teeth as tools to pry open items. If you have diabetes, be sure to keep your blood sugar under control.