Teeth Cleanings & Exams

How often should I visit the dentist?

Dental health varies from person to person, but the American Dental Association (ADA) typically recommends one to two visits per year. Even if a person has perfect oral health, it’s still recommended to have regular professional teeth cleanings and checkups. If you have any noticeable changes in your oral health, such as pain or sensitivity, it’s important to discuss these issues with your dentist immediately. When it comes to dental pain, doing nothing often makes the issue worse.

Why is it important to get my teeth professionally cleaned?

Professional teeth cleanings are important not only for your smile, but for your overall health. They are vital in removing gum disease causing tartar that cannot be removed without professional assistance. Teeth cleanings help prevent cavities and gum disease, help detect oral cancer, aid in maintaining your overall health, and help to save you money. By taking care of your teeth now, you may be able to save money by avoiding costly and extensive procedures later due to neglect.

What should I expect during my teeth cleaning and exam?

Sit back and relax…

Teeth cleanings typically take between thirty minutes and an hour. The dental hygienist will review your dental and medical history, ask questions about your daily dental routine, ask about any current dental issues, and discuss any previous dental treatment. It’s important to let your hygienist know if you are taking any medications or if you have any changes to your medical history. If your visit is part of a yearly checkup, the hygiene assistant may take x-rays so that the dentist can better assess areas of your mouth. In the absence of gum inflammation, your teeth cleaning should be a comfortable experience. If you have gum or tooth sensitivity, it’s a good idea to notify your hygienist of that discomfort at the onset of your appointment. The hygienist’s primary role during your visit is to educate and provide practical habits for prevention of common dental diseases between visits and during your daily routines at home. After the hygienist performs the cleaning, the dentist will examine your mouth, including your gums and teeth. The dentist will also perform an oral cancer screening and address any concerns you have regarding your oral health. If the examination and x-rays show any signs of dental issues, such as decay or periodontal disease, the dentist will discuss this with you and provide suggested treatment. We encourage you to schedule your next cleaning before you leave, so you stay on track with regular professional teeth cleanings and receive your preferred day and time for your appointment.

Should I get my teeth cleaned while pregnant?

Your oral health may be affected during pregnancy due to hormonal changes you experience during this time. Women are more likely to develop gingivitis during pregnancy and your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings to prevent gingivitis. You should continue seeing your dentist during pregnancy for regular examinations and cleanings. Be sure to tell your dentist if you are pregnant and notify them of any medications or supplements you are taking, or of any other changes you have noticed with your oral health. X-rays may be delayed until after your baby is born, or at least past the first trimester. Please talk with your dentist about your concerns and treatment options, and make sure to maintain good oral care during your pregnancy.

If you would like to schedule a teeth cleaning and exam with Franklin Family Dentistry, please call 317-736-6361 today!