Dental Checkup and Cleaning

Regular dental check ups and cleanings are important in maintaining a healthy mouth.

Check ups are important because problems like cavities, gum disease or oral cancer can be detected early and treated appropriately. During your exam your dentist will recommend radiographs or x-rays to check the health of the jaw bone as well as check for cavities. Four “bitewing” radiographs are recommended for teenagers and adults at least once a year. The time interval used to be six months but most dental insurance companies will only pay for them once a year. This should be fine for most patients, since usually it will take several months for cavities to develop. There are a few exceptions to this rule, Usually I will recommend taking radiographs every six months on patients that have a high caries rate (get lots of cavities), patients that have poor oral hygiene, and patients that suffer from dry mouth. This group of patient are at an increased risk for getting cavities or gum disease.

Although there are no specific rules pertaining to frequency of dental cleanings, it is recommended that you get your teeth cleaned at least twice per year. This frequency ensures that all areas of your mouth are properly maintained. Any plaque and calculus, also known as tartar, is removed from teeth to promote healthy gums. This time interval also gives your dentist a chance examine your mouth and detect any potential problems early. Healthy mouth, healthy body.