Bi-annual check-ups are essential parts of general dentistry in Lake Stevens, WA. Professional teeth cleanings at a dental clinic are recommended for all patients over age two. Only a dentist has the professional tools necessary to completely remove plaque and tartar build-up from the teeth and gums. During your dental visit, your dentist will also take X-rays to evaluate your gum and bone health. Finally, your dentist will perform a comprehensive oral cancer screening. Keep reading to learn more about what to expect during your dental visit, including a professional cleaning, essential X-rays, and cancer screening.
When you visit your dentist twice a year, either your dentist or a dental hygienist will professionally clean your teeth. Along with brushing twice per day with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing each night before bed, these cleanings are essential to the good dental care and superior oral hygiene. Your dentist will use a pick to gently scrape plaque and tartar from your teeth and above your gums. When plaque and tartar are allowed to accumulate, you can develop tooth decay and gum disease, which is why these cleanings are so important.
During your dental visit, your dentist will also take X-rays of your teeth, gums, and mouth. These images are necessary for making sure you have sufficient healthy bone tissue. As you get older, your healthy jawbone can deteriorate, especially if you are missing teeth. X-rays are also key to diagnosing gum disease early on. With X-rays, your dentist can determine if your gums are receding, or pulling away from your teeth. Your dentist will also carefully examine X-rays for signs of tooth decay.
Finally, dentists perform oral cancer screenings as part of dental visits. A dentist usually begins by asking if you have noticed any tenderness, pain, or bumps on your tongue or in your soft mouth tissue. Next, your dentist will examine your tongue, palate, and gums for signs of flat white or red bumps. If you do have new growths, your dentist may take a small tissue sample to be tested for cancerous cells.