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Healthy teeth patient at dentist office dental caries prevention

Routine teeth cleanings are beneficial for not only oral health but overall wellness. In fact, recent studies have found a strong correlation between poor oral health and diabetes, ear infections, heart disease, and more. Scheduling routine teeth cleanings may help patients save money and even future health and wellness.

What to Expect During a Routine Dental Checkup and Teeth Cleaning:

There are two parts to most dental checkups; the actual checkup to determine teeth and gum health, and the routine teeth cleaning. Most dentists or dental hygienists will do a standard head and neck check, as well as examine a patients lymph nodes and jaw for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ).

A routine dental checkup may also include:

  1. Checking for signs of oral cancer
  2. Assessing any possible signs of gum disease
  3. Checking for loose or broken teeth
  4. Checking the patient’s ‘bite’ (for crossbite, underbite, overbite, and spacing)
  5. Noting evidence of tooth decay
  6. Checking for damaged fillings or previous dental work
  7. Evaluating and/or cleaning dental appliances (retainers, dentures, etc.)
  8. Taking X-rays

During a routine dental visit and checkup, once the plaque and tartar are removed from the teeth and gums, teeth will be polished, and then thoroughly flossed. After a teeth cleaning, the dentist or dental hygienist will then review oral care practices, make suggestions, and discuss overall oral health. Routine teeth cleanings provide the ability to freshen any oral hygiene routine, and add or make changes as requested by a dentist.

Between Routine Dentist visits, be sure to:

  1. Brush
  2. Floss
  3. Maintain all dental appliances
  4. Use an ADA approved toothpaste and mouthwash
  5. Schedule a teeth cleaning for every three to six months (as informed by your dentist)

The American Dental Association recommends routine dental checkups and teeth cleanings every 6 months, although some people require teeth cleanings more often.