Who’s the professional you spend the most time with when you go for a regular oral health/dental checkup?
Typically, it is the dental hygienist. The dental hygienist is there to help keep your teeth, bone support, gums and other areas of your mouth clean and healthy. They are able to accomplish this through oral health screening, diagnostic imaging, preventive therapy, and education/counseling. Seeing your dental hygienist every 6 months will greatly increase your overall oral health and by doing so they will be able to closely monitor your at-home care and evaluate any areas of the mouth that need special attention.
During a routine dental cleaning, you will receive diagnostic and preventive services from your dentist as well as any needed educational information.
- Reviewing and updating medical history. This includes any current medications you are taking as well as any past medical history that could impact your overall health. This can include heart problems, pregnancy or diabetes. It is very important, to be honest, and provide all the necessary information.
- Oral cancer examination and screening
- Gum tissue evaluation
- Check biting, chewing and swallowing patterns
- X-rays or examination of teeth to detect decay
- Referral to a specialist for specific treatment if needed
- Removal of calculus (tartar) and plaque
- Stain removal
- Polish teeth
- Fluoride application
- Toothbrush and floss instructions
- Evaluation of at-home care
- Tobacco-cessation counseling
- Recommendations for continuing care hygiene appointments as well as other treatments diagnosed from the dentist