Regular oral exams, ideally twice a year, give your dentist the opportunity to identify any oral health issues and make a plan to treat them accordingly.
Your dentist will examine the health of your teeth, gums, jaw, and bite during your exam. Exams may also involve dental X-rays, a screening for oral cancer, and other diagnostic procedures.
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer can affect any part of the mouth and the tissues surrounding it. 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, 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 clean your teeth and gums to prevent and treat potential diseases.
They will begin by using a scaler to remove tartar and plaque buildup. The dentist will then use a polisher and abrasive toothpaste to eliminate any remaining stains or plaque, followed by thoroughly flossing your teeth and gums.
Your dentist may also recommend a fluoride treatment if you or your child have a high risk of tooth decay. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can remineralize tooth enamel to prevent or reverse tooth decay.