Have you booked your next dental checkup yet? If not, you should. There is a good reason that your dentist recommends you visit them for a checkup every six months. These appointments give them the chance to perform many critical tasks that keep your teeth and gums in good shape. Our list of 8 things your
family dentist in Mississauga does during each checkup will help you understand why these biannual trips are so important.
Taking x-rays is the first thing your dentist will do during any checkup. X-rays give dentists valuable insight into how the soft and hard tissues of your mouth are faring in areas they cannot see first-hand. X-ray imaging can identify tooth decay, bone loss, tumours, impacted teeth, and other serious problems. Getting regular checkups is key to catching these issues early and mitigating their destructive potential.
Once your x-rays are done, your dentist will look at the inside of your mouth. Using their trained professional eye, they will look for damaged dental work, gum disease, visible signs of tooth decay, and other red flags that may indicate an oral health problem. They may also measure the depth of your gum pockets with a special probe to determine the severity of any gum disease.
The way your teeth meet when you close your mouth is called your bite. Your dentist will check your bite to make sure that none of your teeth are under too much pressure during normal speaking and eating. They will also look for evidence of a shifting bite that might become a problem soon. If they find any issues, they may recommend orthodontic treatment to address them.
Adequate saliva production is critical to good oral health, so dentists look at your salivary glands as part of the checkup process. They examine the glands for signs of problems, such as swelling or abnormal coloration. They also gauge how much saliva your glands can produce. If they are not satisfied with the results, they may order further tests or offer advice on how to stimulate those glands and boost their productivity.
The condition of your tongue can tell your dentist a lot about your oral health and even your general health. Your dentist will check its colour, texture, and size during your checkup to see if anything is amiss. If they observe signs that point to possible health conditions like diabetes or vitamin B12 deficiency, they will let you know so you can see your doctor for treatment.
Dentists are trained to care for a wide variety of oral health issues, and they use checkups as an opportunity to keep on top of these things. Your dentist will look for indications of severe problems like oral cancer, nerve damage, and impacted wisdom teeth, as well as cavities and gum disease. They will also evaluate how well attached your teeth are to your gums and bone. If any are loose, they may be able to initiate treatment that will reattach it and avoid irreversible tooth loss.
One of the most important duties a dentist has is to check their patients for oral cancer. This cancer can develop anywhere along the lips, gums, tongue, the insides of your cheeks and throat, and the roof and floor of your mouth.
Your dentist will look for telltale signs of the condition, such as white patches and abnormal growths, but you should let them know if you have experienced any problems like tenderness in your mouth or lips, sores that are slow to heal, or a feeling like something is stuck in your throat. The survival rate for this type of cancer is higher the earlier it is caught, so it is important not to overlook this aspect of dental checkups.
Just like a doctor, a good dentist takes the time to get to know their patients. During your checkups, your dentist will chat with you to learn more about your personality and oral health habits.
Are you a nervous person who needs a gentler approach? Does your oral hygiene need some work, and if so, which challenges are getting in your way? Do you have a family history of oral health conditions like amelogenesis imperfecta? All of these things are important for your dentist to know and can help inform the way they provide your care. This is one of the reasons why it is beneficial to keep seeing the same dentist for many years. Over time, they will come to know all of your quirks and traits, and you will feel more comfortable with them as a result.
Dental checkups are extremely important opportunities to evaluate your oral health. They should never be skipped, and your dentist should never rush the process. At Trillium Smile Dentistry, we put your oral health first. We are a leading family and emergency dentist in Mississauga with staff who are trusted by countless patients. Contact us today to book your next dental checkup – when you visit us, you can be sure that you are in good hands.