A healthy smile requires regular care and maintenance beyond brushing and flossing at home. Dental exams and cleanings are equally as important as daily home care because they help detect signs of damage early and prevent plaque and tartar buildup where brushing and flossing can miss. General dentistry services, including dental exams and cleanings, are essential to preventing dental damage and protecting the health and beauty of your smile. Dr. Jon Marc Van Slate offers dental exams and cleanings for the whole family at our Houston, TX practice. To schedule your next dental exam, we welcome you to contact our offices.
How Often Should Dental Exams and Cleanings Occur?
The standards set forth by the American Dental Association advise patients to undergo a dental exam and cleaning once every six months. Depending on a person's dental history and the state of his or her oral health, dental exams and cleanings may be recommended more frequently.
What to Expect during a Dental Exam and Cleaning
Dental exams and cleanings are typically performed on the same day. The cleaning may be performed before or after the exam, and may be done by the dentist or dental hygienist. During the cleaning, the teeth are gently cleaned with a special metal scraping tool. Particular care is taken to remove any plaque or tartar, the calcified form or plaque, from all areas of the teeth, especially along the gum line and back teeth. The teeth are flossed, polished, and the mouth is rinsed to complete the cleaning process.
During the dental exam, the dentist will check the teeth for any signs of decay or damage. The gums are checked for gum disease and the tongue and mouth may be checked for signs of oral cancer or vitamin deficiencies. Sometimes X-rays are taken to check the health of the jaw, tooth roots, and other structures below the gum line.
The Importance of Dental Exams and Cleanings
Dental exams and cleanings are an important component of every dental care routine. Even with diligent brushing and flossing, it's still possible to develop tooth decay and gum disease. Brushing and flossing can leave plaque and tartar in hard to clean areas, like along the gum line and on the back teeth. Regularly undergoing dental exams and professional cleanings can help prevent plaque and tartar buildup in hard to clean areas while also reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Some other reasons why dental exams and cleanings are so important to oral health include:
- Catch signs of an oral health issues early: Regular dental exams help catch signs of dental damage early and before they become severe.
- Prevent oral health problems from occurring: Regular dental exams and cleanings can help prevent oral health problems from occurring by keeping the teeth and gums clean and addressing potential problems early.
- Helps save money by preventing the need for costly treatments: When oral health is neglected, serious dental problems can occur. These conditions may require costly treatment. By catching dental damage early and preventing many oral health problems, dental exams and cleanings can help save money over a lifetime.
- Keeps the smile looking healthy and beautiful: Regular dental exams and cleanings help keep the teeth and gums healthy and beautiful so you can smile with confidence.
Schedule an Appointment
To schedule a dental exam and cleaning, or for any of your dental care needs, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Van Slate.