Ideally twice a year, you'll attend a regular oral exam to give your dentist the chance to identify any oral health issues and develop a plan to treat them accordingly.
During this exam, your dentist will closely check the health of your teeth, gums, bite and jaw. Exams may also include dental X-rays, an oral cancer screening and other diagnostic procedures that may be required.
Oral Cancer Screening
Any part of the mouth or surrounding tissues can become infected with oral cancer. During your exam, your dentist will inspect your neck, face, tongue, lips, throat, gums and tissues for any signs of oral cancer (including mouth sores, lumps, or red or white patches), which can be difficult to detect with the naked eye.
Oral Health Care at Home
Remember to brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time to keep your smile healthy between dental appointments. Floss at least once per day.
Before or after your exam, the dental hygienist will perform a deep cleaning of your teeth and gums to prevent and treat disease.
To start, a scaler will be used to remove any plaque and tartar build-up. Next, the dental hygienist will use a polisher and coarse toothpaste to remove any remaining stains or plaque. This will be followed by a thorough flossing of your teeth and gums.
Do you or your child have a high risk of tooth decay? Your dentist may also recommend a fluoride treatment. Fluoride is a natural mineral that can help to rebuild the minerals in your tooth enamel to prevent or reverse tooth decay.