Preventive Dental Hygiene
Regular Oral Exams
Seeing your dentist for your regularly scheduled oral exam is key to maintaining a healthy mouth and preventing small problems from developing into complex issues.
While plenty of people wait until they experience pain or notice problems with their teeth and gums to make an appointment, coming in for your oral exam allows your dentist the opportunity to help prevent pain and catch potential issues early.
The health of your teeth, gums, jaw and bite will be closely assessed during your exam. Depending on your needs, your dentist may also take dental X-rays, screen for oral cancer and conduct other diagnostic procedures.
Keeping Your Smile Healthy at Home
To keep your smile healthy between dental appointments, be sure to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, and floss at least once a day.
During a dental hygiene cleaning, a dental hygienist thoroughly cleans your teeth and gums to prevent and treat disease.
Also referred to as scaling and polishing, this process is separate from a dental exam. Before or after your exam, your dental hygienist will:
- Scale your teeth to eliminate any plaque or tartar build-up in the areas your toothbrush has likely missed
- Use a polisher and coarse toothpaste to remove any remaining plaque or stains
- Carefully floss your teeth and gums to clean hard-to-reach spots
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral or mouth cancer can develop in any of the parts that make up your oral cavity. During an oral cancer screening, your dentist will use a VELscope® device to closely examine your face, neck, throat, lips, tongue, gums and tissues for symptoms of oral cancer that may be difficult to detect with a look in the mirror or quick visual exam.
Your dentist can assess whether you or your child are at high risk of tooth decay and potentially recommend a fluoride treatment to reverse early signs of decay and remineralize your tooth enamel, strengthen teeth and reduce risk of cavities.