Dental exams provide your dentist with a chance to check on your teeth and track the development of any potential problems. Dental checkups serve as the equivalent of your regular physical exam at the doctor’s office, where your physician makes sure there are no issues that need immediate attention and tracks those that may require long-term care.
Having regular checkups can reduce your risk of developing severe dental issues while also reinforcing good oral hygiene habits. During the dental exams at our office, residents near Vancouver, Washington, can learn more about proper brushing and flossing while also getting their teeth cleaned professionally.
IMPORTANCE OF ORAL HYGIENE
Why is oral hygiene so critical? Teeth and gums are strong, but if we don’t take care of them, they can break down over time, leading to tooth decay, tooth loss, gum disease and more.
Your oral health is also connected to your overall health. Patients who don’t take care of their teeth are more likely to develop conditions such as cardiovascular disease and pneumonia. To take care of yourself, you need to take care of your mouth.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING YOUR DENTAL EXAM
A typical dental checkup has several parts:
- The hygienist will clean and floss your teeth, looking for areas of concern as they work.
- We take X-rays once a year at your appointment, giving us a baseline comparison for the future so we can see what changes from year to year.
- Our dentist, Dr. Erika, looks over the X-rays, searching for signs of decay or cavities. He performs a visual inspection of your mouth and jaw, including an oral cancer screening, and then checks each tooth individually with his instruments.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU GET A DENTAL EXAM?
We recommend our patients have their dental exams once a year, which occurs during their cleaning visits which are done every three to six months, depending on their gum condition. We aim to make these visits as pleasant as possible. Dr. Erika focuses on offering pain-free care during your checkups, and our friendly office environment will help you feel relaxed immediately.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR A DENTAL EXAM
Preparing for your dental exam starts the moment you leave our office following your last dental exam. From then until your next appointment in three to six months, you should practice good oral hygiene, including brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily. Great flossing habits can significantly decrease your time in the chair for your cleaning, as flossing reduces plaque buildup and prevents tartar from building up between the teeth.
On the day of your appointment, brush your teeth right before you visit the office. If you can’t do that, try to use some mouthwash or ask for a toothbrush when you arrive.
If you feel nervous, please tell us. We understand that many people feel scared of the dentist, and our caring staff can put you at ease by discussing anything that worries you.
CALL LIGHTHOUSE DENTAL TODAY
We care about you and your dental health, and we know preventive measures such as oral exams and screenings are the best way to keep your mouth healthy. Residents near Vancouver, Washington, can schedule an appointment at our office today by calling (360) 576-3570.