Dental Cleaning and Examinations - Importance

Dental Cleaning and Examinations - Importance

We all know that visiting a dentist regularly for dental examinations and teeth cleanings is super important! Despite this, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 35.1% of adults and 15.1% of children skip their regular dental visits. And that's quite a big percentage.

If you think you do not need to visit your dentist regularly if you brush and floss, the truth is that these oral care habits are not enough! Read on the blog to learn more about what a dental checkup entails and why it is important.

What are dental exams and cleanings?

A dental cleaning is a procedure meant to remove plaque and tartar (calculus) from teeth. It is usually performed every six months. A dental examination is also performed along with this cleaning visit and covers all areas of oral health and looks for signs of dental diseases. 

What Happens During Dental Exams and Cleanings?

Oral Examination

During a routine dental checkup, we start by examining the patient's mouth and teeth and address the following areas of dental hygiene:  

  • Decay detection: We will evaluate the patient's teeth and look for any visible signs of softening of enamel or tooth decay. 
  • Gum check: Our dentist will determine the patient's gums' health and measure the gum pockets to see if any bone has been lost to periodontal disease.
  • Bite evaluation: The patient's bite is evaluated, and malocclusion is analyzed to identify any red flags, if any, to protect your dental health.
  • Teeth development check: During dental checkups, our dentist will also monitor the teeth development and eruption pattern in children and refer them to an orthodontic specialist if needed.

Dental X-Rays

At Fear Free Dental, the regular dental visits involve dental X-rays if necessary to reveal hidden cavities between the teeth. Routine X-rays also provide:

  • Information about the patient's overall oral health.
  • The height of the supporting bone around the teeth.
  • The position of developing teeth in children.

Oral Cancer Screening

Our dentists also conduct oral cancer screenings during regular dental checkups, as early detection is important.

Scaling and Polishing

During the dental cleaning, our dentist uses specialized instruments to scale off and eliminate any hardened plaque and polish the teeth to remove dental stains to make the mouth squeaky clean. 

Fluoride Treatment

Once we finish the patient's teeth cleaning, we suggest patients get fluoride treatments, especially if their teeth are prone to cavities.

Sealant Application

Dental sealants are thin coatings applied on the chewing surfaces of teeth to prevent tooth decay. 

Home Care Instruction

Once we finish dental checkups and teeth cleaning, our dentist will give instructions and recommendations to the patients on home care. This includes the right brushing, flossing techniques, and diet recommendations focused on oral health. Besides this, regular dental visits are a great time to ask questions or concerns about your oral health!

Cleaning and Examination Benefits

Even the most diligent brushers and flossers can miss areas of their mouths or develop areas that are hard to reach. Plaque, tartar, and food particles can build up in these areas and lead to decay and gum disease.

Regular dental cleanings help to polish away these deposits, preventing conditions for decay and gum disease. During your cleaning, your dental hygienist will also use an ultrasonic scaler to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. These cleanings help to remove these deposits before they cause further decay and gum inflammation. 

A dental examination allows the dentist to detect dental problems during their initial stages and plan appropriate treatments. 

How Often Should Dental Cleaning and Examination Be Performed?

Most people should get a dental cleaning and examination every six months. However, your dental provider may recommend more frequent cleanings if you have certain oral health conditions.

Contact Fear Free Dental in Portland, Oregon, for the best dental care. Call Dentist in Portland, OR at (503) 291-0000 or visit 4455 Sw Scholls Ferry Rd Suite 101 Portland, Oregon, 97225 to schedule an appointment.