Dental Check-up & Clean

What is a dental check-up?

A dental check-up involves a thorough examination of your teeth, gums, lips, tongue, mouth and saliva. Along with brushing and flossing your teeth, a dental check-up forms an important part of your dental hygiene routine. Dental hygiene involves anything that helps to prevent dental diseases and keeps your mouth healthy. The 2 main dental diseases are tooth decay and gum disease.

Dental check-ups usually happen in a dental clinic, and are carried out by a dental practitioner, such as a dentist, dental hygienist, oral health therapist, dental therapist or sometimes a dental student. Regular check-ups can help catch potential issues early on, when they are easier to treat.

What happens during tooth cleaning?

During teeth cleaning your dentist will use professional equipment to remove tartar and plaque build-up around and in-between your teeth. No matter how careful your brushing, plaque can only be removed by a dentist. Your teeth will be polished and a fluoride treatment applied. If your dentist detects any concerns, they may take an X-ray of your teeth and discuss a treatment plan. 

Professional teeth cleanings are scheduled twice a year, while X-rays are normally done once a year. Still, depending on what your dentist or dental hygienist observes in your mouth, they might do other exams during your visit. For children, a dentist may recommend fissure sealants to help prevent cavities in hard-to-brush areas.

Whether you need any additional steps or not, the key is to keep going back to the dentist for regular teeth cleanings to prevent problems altogether. By understanding what’s going on in advance, you’ll feel more at ease — and maybe even look forward to these appointments.