What to Expect at a Routine Dental Exam and Cleaning

Woman with mouth open having teeth cleaned at dentistIt’s so important to keep your teeth in tip-top shape. Most people should have a dental exam and cleaning every six months, but some may need more frequent check-ups due to dental or medical issues. If it has been a while since your last dentist appointment, we’re glad you’re here! At Jordan Dentistry, we’re proud to offer the highest quality family dentistry in Cumming, Georgia. We hope you’ll make a dentist appointment with us; you can even do it online right now. In the meantime, keep reading to learn what to expect at a routine dental exam and cleaning.  

What Happens During a Dental Appointment?

Initial Physical Exam

Most of the time, a routine dentist appointment starts with your dental hygienist performing an initial exam. (You may recall the little mirror on a stick that is used to see your teeth from more angles.) If it has been a while since your last dentist appointment, the hygienist may take X-rays of your teeth

If there are any major issues, the hygienist may call in the dentist at this point. However, they will usually go straight to the teeth cleaning. 

Teeth Cleaning

There are several important parts of a teeth cleaning: 

  • Removing tartar and plaque. For this step, the hygienist will use a tool to scrape away plaque, and its hardened form, tartar. Brushing and flossing at home can get rid of plaque, but you can’t remove tartar yourself. That’s why it’s so important to keep up with your regular dentist appointments!
  • Brushing and polishing. After dislodging most of the tartar with a scaler, your dental hygienist will buff and polish your teeth with a powerful electric toothbrush and a special, gritty toothpaste. This removes any leftover tartar by scrubbing the surfaces of your teeth clean. 
  • Flossing. The next step is an expert flossing to remove any tenacious plaque or debris from the earlier cleaning. Dental hygienists are trained to do an excellent job at flossing, and their thoroughness can help to identify any areas where you need to pay extra attention to flossing. 
  • Rinsing and fluoride treatment. The final step to having your teeth cleaned is to rinse your mouth out to wash away debris from the cleaning. Typically, you’ll be asked to rinse with a fluoride treatment. Depending on your level of risk for certain dental issues, you may need a bit of extra protection from a fluoride varnish.

Consultation with Dentist

In addition to your cleaning, you’ll meet with the dentist for a quick physical exam and consultation. If X-rays were taken, the dentist will review them. They will also discuss your overall oral health, any areas of concern, any health conditions or medications that could affect your teeth and gums, and possibly recommend changes to your diet or oral health habits. 

Don’t be afraid to ask questions or share concerns! We want you to leave feeling confident, both in your smile and in your knowledge of how to protect your oral health.

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