What to Expect at a Dental Check-Up

During the pandemic, many Americans got off of their regular dental appointments, but as things return to normal it is essential that you return to regularly scheduled check-ups every six months in order to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy. To follow are the reasons why you need to keep those regular dental appointments.

Dental x-rays generally happen once a year; however, how often x-rays should be taken depends on an individual’s oral health, age, risk for disease and signs or symptoms of oral disease. The x-rays allow the dentist to see any potential problems, damage or disease of the teeth or gums that are not easy to see with the naked eye.

Plaque and Tartar Removal
Even if you are a diligent brusher and flosser, there are places you can’t reach where plaque will build up and harden into tartar. During your regular exam, the dental hygienist will use a mirror to see these areas and a scaler to scrape off plaque and tartar around your gumline and between your teeth. The good news is: the better you brush and floss, the less time the hygienist needs to do the removal.
Tooth Polishing
After plaque and tartar removal, the hygienist will clean your teeth with an abrasive toothpaste and a high-powered air driven spinning brush that removes bacteria and stains from the outer layer of the teeth. This kind of deep teeth cleaning is safe for professionals to do twice a year without wearing down enamel. 

Thorough Flossing
The dental hygienist will give you an expert flossing that will reach deep between your teeth and locate any trouble spots or bleeding gums.

Fluoride Treatment
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends a professional fluoride treatment at your dentist’s office every three, six or 12 months, depending on your oral health and risk for cavities. The dental hygienist places the foamy gel or paste into a mouthpiece that fits over your teeth and is left on for approximately one minute. Enlighten Dental Care offers fluoride varnish, which is painted onto your teeth and hardens quickly, at no additional charge.  

The Dental Exam
Our EDC dentists are trained to look for any signs of oral cancer in your mouth, tongue, or gums, as well as signs of other health problems, including lumps and bumps, bone loss, and tooth decay. They will also confer with the hygienist and look at any potential trouble spots, measure the depth of any gum pockets, and talk to you about any procedures that need to be done and/or follow-up visits.

We strive to diagnose and recommend appropriate treatment based on individual circumstances. Try not to be overwhelmed if there are follow-ups that need to be scheduled — this means you are simply taking good care of your teeth and avoiding much more complicated problems down the road. And if there are no problems, that’s great news — you simply schedule your next six-month check-up and get to do it all again! For more information, contact Enlighten Dental Care at (336) 765-0904.  

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