West Hartford Dentist, Examinations and Teeth Care

The Importance of Dental Exams and Dental Cleanings

A healthy mouth is incredibly important for several different reasons. It one of the first things that someone else will notice about you, it allows you to consume food and communicate with others, and it is closely related to the health of other organs and systems in your body. It is therefore in your best interest to take good care of your mouth through regular dental examinations and cleanings.

Dental Exams and Cleanings

When it comes to dental care, it is definitely true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. To this end, dentists generally recommend that you receive a dental examination and cleaning at least once every six months. There are some instances (such as the existence of oral health issues or other physical health conditions) where a dentist may recommend more frequent dental examinations and cleanings, but once every six months is the accepted minimum. Following are some of the biggest benefits of these regular visits:

    • Protecting a healthy smile. A healthy smile is far more than a physical benefit, it can make an individual feel more confident and comfortable. When you receive regular dental dental examinations and cleanings, you know that your oral health is in good shape and are more likely to confidently smile as a result.
    • Maintaining good oral health. Dentists are trained to be able to detect oral health issues that you may not be aware of until they have exacerbated into major issues. Also, as the individual who routinely checks your oral health, the dentist can also detect when something has gone astray with your oral health and can help you sort out why and get you back on track.
    • Preventing gum disease. Gum disease begins with a simple gum infection that can quickly escalate to bone loss if left undiagnosed and untreated. Brushing your teeth well every day can help to prevent gum disease from occurring, but twice yearly dental examinations and cleanings ensure that more thorough, deeper cleaning occurs as well.
    • Detecting oral diseases before they become major problems. Many oral diseases, including even oral cancer, can often be successfully treated and resolved if diagnosed early on.
    • Protecting overall health. Poor oral health has often been related to other health conditions including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke and more. By maintaining good oral health, you are then better protecting your overall health.

What to Expect

When you arrive at the dentist for your examination and cleaning, there are some basic things you should expect to occur each time, including:

    • A professional examination. Only a dental hygienist or dentist can perform your dental examination. They will check for tooth or gum problems, ask about your overall health and medicine use, ask you how you care for your teeth and answer any questions you may have. It is important to note that only a dentist can diagnose tooth or gum problems or other oral health issues, but a hygienist can make note of these things for the dentist to verify as needed. The dentist will also be able to discuss treatment recommendations.
    • Any necessary X-rays. If you are a new patient, the dentist will definitely want to take some x-rays to better determine the health of your teeth and mouth. After that, the dentist decides based on your examination and dental history whether x-rays are necessary and how often they should be taken. X-rays are not normally a part of every dental visit.
    • A dental cleaning. Daily brushing and flossing at home is an important part of maintaining good oral health, but the fact is that this alone cannot completely and thoroughly protect your oral health. Professional dental cleanings provided by dental hygienists or dentists involve the use of special tools and techniques in order to more deeply clean your teeth and remove the hardened plaque that can build up on your teeth.
    • A dental polishing. Once your teeth have been thoroughly cleaned they will be polished in order to remove any remaining plaque or stains. Dental tooth polish contains an abrasive substance in order to effectively polish your teeth.
    • Appropriate prevention advice. Based on your examination and cleaning, the dental hygienist or dentist may provide you with helpful advice that is important for your at-home preventative care, such as how to floss more effectively. This is also the perfect time to ask and have answered any questions about your at-home preventative care.
    • Any needed treatment recommendations. In the case that oral health problems were detected during your dental examination, the dentist will make treatment recommendations to you. This could be something like scheduling a return appointment for the purpose of receiving restorative dental care, such as fillings or crowns. This is yet another opportunity to ask whatever questions you may have.

Dental examinations and cleanings should always be thorough so as to not only help you achieve better oral health, but also to better understand your oral health. Done well, they are a comfortable and effective experience.