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 examine the condition 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
Any part of the mouth or surrounding tissues can be affected by oral cancer. During your exam, your dentist will look for signs of oral cancer that are difficult to detect with the naked eye on your face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums.
Oral Health Care 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.
Before or after your exam, your dental hygienist will perform a deep cleaning of your teeth and gums to try and prevent and treat disease.
To begin, they use a scaler to remove any tartar and plaque buildup. They will then use a polisher and coarse toothpaste to remove any remaining stains or plaque, followed by flossing your teeth and gums.
Your dentist may also recommend a fluoride treatment if you or your child is at high risk of tooth decay. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can aid in rebuilding minerals in your tooth enamel, thereby preventing or reversing tooth decay.