It’s no secret that regularly scheduled dental exams and cleanings are vital to maintaining good oral health. If you’re reading this and you haven’t been to a dentist for a check-up yet, then it’s likely you’re way overdue – or an extremely gifted infant!
Why are dental exams done?
If you think you’re only going to the dentist to protect your pearly white, think again. Oral health is linked to your overall physical health, and often, the first signs of various diseases show up in your mouth, conditions like diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and more.
Dentists recommend that children older than 6 months – or after they cut their first tooth – start getting check-ups regularly.
If you’re nervous about what’s to come, don’t be. And share any concerns you have with your dentist’s office before your appointment.
What can you expect at your first visit to the dentist?
Generally, a regularly scheduled visit to the dentist will include the following:
- An evaluation of your overall oral health and hygiene habits
- An evaluation of your tooth strength and whether you need tooth restoration or replacement
- An evaluation of your tooth decay risk, as well as whether you’re experiencing gum disease or bone disease
- A check of your bite and your jaw
- A cleaning in which stains and deposits are removed from your teeth
- A lesson on how to properly care for your teeth — or your dentures.
- An assessment on whether or not you need fluoride
- Oral cancer screening: Your hygienist or dentist will feel your jaw and the sides of your neck, as well as the insides of your lips and cheeks, for signs of oral cancer.
- X-rays (sometimes): Dental X-rays allow the dentist to see areas of your mouth that can’t be seen during the normal exam.
- Dental impressions (sometimes): Some dentists might ask you to do a dental impression – in which you bite down and make an imprint of your jaws – to evaluate your bite.
Also during the visit, you can expect your hygienist or dentist to discuss your other health conditions and any medications you might be taking to determine whether those will have an effect on your oral health.
If you haven’t been to the dentist ever – or if it’s been more than a year since your last one – the time to call Dr. Chauvin’s office is yesterday! Don’t wait. Contact Dr. Chauvin’s office today.