woman in a dental exam chair

Similar to visiting any other doctor, you should be knowledgeable about what is happening in your mouth at the dentist. It’s true that as soon as you pop on the shades and shut your eyes, the dreaded scraping and picking begins. But listen closely—when you know exactly what the dental hygienist is doing, these sounds stop being so scary. Here’s what your dentist is really looking for during your bi-annual dental exam. 

The Benefits of Routine Dental Exams

Your visit begins with a cleaning by a professional dental hygienist. The main job of this individual is to clean your teeth and help you prevent disease in your mouth. Not only does your professional cleaning remove dental tartar and calculus in places that your toothbrush and floss can’t, but it also helps to prevent dental cavities and tooth decay while encouraging healthy gums and teeth. 

In short, bi-yearly dental exams are helpful because they are proactive. Dentists can see signs of potential problems and can prescribe measures that will help prolong the health of your teeth or fight off warning signs.  

Cavity Checks 

Next up during your routine exam, dentists place an emphasis on checking for cavities. This is a time to learn about your oral history based on what the dentist notices. If they see any watch spots, they might suggest you do certain things, like flossing more often or using a specific type of mouthwash, to improve the health of your teeth in order to keep them looking and feeling good. Your dentist is also knowledgeable about chemicals and products that may pose potential harm to your teeth. Some of these things, like seltzer water for example, many people don’t realize could potentially create problems in the future. In addition, you can also take this time to ask any questions you may have or request tips on how to prevent bad breath and eliminate disease-causing bacteria.  

Digital Dental X-ray Evaluations 

But, not everything can be seen by the naked eye. Digital dental X-rays are able to detect abnormalities and issues that aren’t present on the surface of the tooth such as decay, abscesses, bone loss, and oral infections. These are a necessary part of your dental exam because they also track the growth of watch spots. Your dentist will determine how often you are in need of X-rays.  

Oral Cancer Screenings 

Lastly, your dentist will conduct an oral cancer screening by massaging the areas around your mouth such as your throat, neck, head, and jaw in search of abnormalities or bumps. They will also use a tongue depressor, light, and mirror to examine in your mouth and around your face for any swelling or discoloration. This portion of the exam is particularly important because there has been a recent uptick in oral cancer cases and early detection is key to a successful treatment. 

During your dental exam, your dentist can tell if you’ve been brushing and flossing! Make sure your teeth remain healthy and pearly white by scheduling your bi-annual appointment at Comfort Dental Care of Brookline. Our commitment to comfort and high-quality care is clear in the name. Request an appointment today.