Does your New Year’s resolution involve getting healthier this year? Instead of trying to survive on a salad-only diet or run 5 miles every morning, why not start with your smile? Healthy teeth can drastically boost your confidence, appearance, and even your overall health. So this year, improve your life and your smile by making a New Year’s resolution to see your dentist in Bend for a dental checkup! Let’s take a closer look at what happens during a regular dental exam and cleaning, and why they’re so important.
Your dental checkup in Bend will start off with an examination. Your dentist will thoroughly inspect your teeth, gums, and tongue to identify issues that haven’t become noticeable to you yet, like tooth decay, gum disease, or oral cancer. They’ll also investigate the strength and integrity of your enamel by looking for chips, cracks, or wear and tear. These could be signs that you are accidentally hurting your teeth with common bad habits like brushing too hard, grinding your teeth, or chewing on hard objects.
Your dentist will also take X-rays of your teeth and jaws in order to examine beneath your gumline. This lets them look for issues with the roots of your teeth, jawbone density, and tooth development. Throughout the exam, they’ll also be able to identify symptoms of underlying systemic health problems. Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and diabetes can all present warning signs in your mouth before anywhere else.
Even with a great dental routine of regular brushing and flossing, your teeth will still benefit from a regular teeth cleaning in Bend. This is especially true if some of the plaque on your teeth has hardened into tarter, which can only be removed with the assistance of your dentist. After all the plaque and tarter is cleaned out, any surface stains on your teeth can be polished away. Once your pearly whites are shining bright, your dentist or oral hygienist will discuss proper brushing and flossing habits with you. They’ll often point out which teeth needed the most cleaning, and how to adjust your dental routine to properly take care of them at home.
At the end of your visit, you’ll get to talk to your dentist about your oral health. Using the X-rays taken earlier or showing you with the help of a mirror, they can explain any issues they’ve discovered and what they recommend for treatment. Sometimes they’ll suggest further dental work like fillings or gum disease therapy, and other times simple tips for prevention are all that’s needed. This is a great time to ask your dentist questions and develop a personalized plan for achieving optimal oral health.
Seeing your dentist regularly isn’t just to polish up your teeth every now and then. Getting a dental checkup every six months is the key to keeping your smile happy and healthy for years to come.
Dr. Joshua Prentice is a preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dentist at Ponderosa Dental Center in Bend, OR. His passion for teaching shines through his membership in the Dental Assisting Advisory Board at Central Oregon Community College, and he spends additional time training other dentists in the newest dental technologies. He believes that educating patients on their own dental health is key to a lifetime of great oral health, which is why he and his team focus on providing open, honest communication and excellent dental care. If you have any questions about dental checkups, he can be reached at his website or at (541) 382-3691.