Regular oral exams, ideally twice a year, allow your dentist to identify any oral health issues and make a plan to treat them accordingly.
During your exam, your dentist will take a close look at the health of your teeth, gums, jaw and bite. Exams may also include dental X-rays, an oral cancer screening and other diagnostic procedures.
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer includes cancer of any part of the mouth and the surrounding tissue. During your exam, your dentist will check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for signs of cancer, which are difficult to detect with the naked eye.
Oral Health Care at Home
To maintain your oral health between dental appointments, be sure to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, and floss at least once a day.
Before or after your exam, your dental hygienist will perform a deep cleaning of your teeth and gums to prevent and treat disease.
They will start by using a scaler to remove any tartar and plaque build-up. Next, they will use a polisher and coarse toothpaste to remove any leftover stains or plaque, followed by a thorough flossing of your teeth and gums.
If you or your child is at 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.