Regular dental exams and cleanings are crucial to maintaining good oral health for a lifetime. Unfortunately, many people skip these appointments, either because they think their teeth are healthy, that they don’t need a cleaning, they don’t have insurance, or because they’re afraid of the dentist.
Unfortunately, skipping your dental exam and cleaning appointments can lead to serious dental problems that might have otherwise been prevented. Such as gum disease, cavities, and even tooth loss.
Understanding what to expect at a routine checkup and cleaning can help you be more comfortable with scheduling these visits twice a year!
What Happens During a Dental Exam and Cleaning?
During a dental exam, our San Diego dentist will examine your teeth, gums, and mouth to check for any signs of decay, gum disease, or other oral health problems. We’ll also perform an oral cancer screening to identify any irregular tissues as early as possible. Depending on when your last x-rays were, we may take an updated set to look for any underlying problems that are not visible to the naked eye.
During your cleaning, our dental hygienist will use special tools to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. They will also floss your teeth and polish them to remove surface stains. Finally, they may apply fluoride to your teeth to help prevent cavities. If you have any specific areas of concern, they’ll show you adaptive ways to clean those spaces between your dental checkups.
How Often Should You Get a Dental Exam and Cleaning?
The American Dental Association recommends that you visit the dentist at least twice a year for a dental exam and preventive cleaning. The goal is to help you avoid oral conditions like gum disease or decay before they start. However, if you have a history of gum disease or other oral health problems, our dentist may recommend more frequent appointments, as often as every 3-4 months.
What Should You Not Do Before a Teeth Cleaning?
Before your teeth cleaning, it’s important to avoid eating or drinking anything right before your appointment. But if your visit is scheduled after lunch, plan to come a little early to brush and floss before your cleaning. That way, there won’t be any food residue on your teeth, and our hygienists can get right to your prophylactic cleaning.
Dos and Don’ts After a Dental Cleaning
After your dental cleaning, you can go back to your normal routine. However, if you have heavy tartar buildup, gingivitis, or gum recession, your teeth might be a little sensitive that day. If that’s the case, it’s important to avoid eating or drinking anything that is too hot or cold, as this can cause discomfort. Instead, stick to soft foods and liquids until your gums and teeth feel better.
If you have a home whitening kit, after your dental cleaning is a great time to touch up your smile. Wear the trays or strips as directed; in most cases, you’ll only need to use them for a few days to boost your smile’s brightness back to the desired level.
How Long Do I Have to Wait to Eat After Getting My Teeth Cleaned?
If you’re getting a fluoride treatment or desensitizing treatment, you should wait at least 30 minutes after your teeth cleaning to eat or drink anything. This will give your teeth time to absorb the fluoride gel or varnish so that it can help strengthen your tooth enamel and prevent cavities.
Schedule Your Checkup Today!
If it’s been six months or longer since your last dental exam and cleaning, it’s time to schedule an appointment with Altrock Fabb Dental. Our experienced team will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan to help you achieve optimal oral health. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!
So don’t wait – schedule your checkup today and take the first step towards a healthier, happier smile!