Here at Lincoln Smiles, we understand that dental exams are often neglected due to a busy lifestyle. However, we must stress the importance of regular checkups to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Allow us to explain why this is so important as well as what you can expect from an oral exam so you never put it off again.
Why Are Regular Dental Exams Important?
Oral hygiene plays a vital role in your overall health. Studies show that taking poor care of your teeth and gums can lead to gum disease, which in turn can cause or worsen numerous other health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and dementia.
While we may see you more or less depending on your own oral health needs, oral exams are generally needed every 6 months to look for tooth decay, gum disease, and any other oral health problems you may have or that may be on the verge of developing. Some health conditions, such as gingivitis and oral cancer, can be detected in the mouth.
Catching problems early allows for quicker treatment and reduces the likelihood of progression. Early intervention also reduces the pain and expense that often comes with oral health problems.
What Can I Expect During My Dental Exam?
Dental exams are performed by both our hygienist, which is a person trained to clean teeth as well as help patients develop and maintain good oral health habits, and our dentist.
Certain health conditions and medications can affect the health of your mouth and teeth, so we will ask you questions about your recent medical history. We also want to know about any oral health concerns you may have or problems you are experiencing.
While reclining in a dental chair, you can expect a mouth examination to check for things like cavities, rotting teeth, and swollen gums. Depending on the outcome of the dental exam and the length of time since you last saw us, x-rays may or may not be necessary to get a look below the gumline.
Our hygienist will provide a thorough, professional cleaning of your teeth using small, metal dental tools. We will also provide tips on properly caring for your teeth and gums, such as brushing and flossing techniques for hard to reach areas of the mouth. Then we will floss, brush, and polish your teeth to leave you with a clean, fresh mouth.
Our dentist will look over your x-rays if you had them in search of any potential problems, such as cavities, gum disease, bone loss, or impacted teeth, that can’t be seen just by looking in your mouth. We check your bite, which is simply how your top and bottom teeth fit together with your jaw closed. Our dentist will also examine you for signs of oral cancer by feeling your neck and under your jaw as well as looking at the inside of your lips, your tongue, and the roof and floor of your mouth.
We will point out any problem areas we notice and provide you with tips to improve your oral hygiene practices. Please let us know if you have any questions throughout the process.
What Can I Do Between Exams to Maintain Healthy Teeth and Gums?
The best way to prepare for a dental exam is to maintain healthy long-term oral hygiene habits at home between checkups. To help prevent tooth decay and cavities, floss daily and use a toothpaste with fluoride to brush twice daily for two minutes each time. Be sure to replace your toothbrush every three to four months.
Follow any recommendations or advice we provide and let us know if you experience any new or worsening conditions, such as teeth sensitivity or pain or swelling in your mouth or jaw, between visits.
Don’t deny yourself good oral health. Visit us every 6 to 12 months and rest assured that our friendly, professional staff will do everything we can to make your experience with us as quick and efficient as possible. Call Lincoln Smiles at 916-543-8800 today to make an appointment.