10 Things You Didn’t Know Your Dentist Was Doing at Your Checkup

brunette woman in dental chair, dentist taking intraoral images, pointing to image on screen

You know it’s important to go for your semi-annual dental checkup. But do you really know why? The truth is that your dentist and dental team do much more than just clean your teeth at a checkup. Here are ten things you might not have known:

1. Scraping Away Plaque and Tartar

Either your dentist or your dental hygienist will use a small tool called a scaler to scrape off any plaque and tartar.

2. Polishing Your Teeth

Besides cleaning and flossing your teeth, they will polish them to make them smooth and help prevent plaque from accumulating.

3. Checking Each Tooth

With a probe and a small mirror, your dentist will go over every area of your teeth. This is so they can see if there are any health concerns, or if anything has changed in your mouth since your last visit.

4. Examining Your Gums

Your dentist will check your gums for any bleeding or swelling, which are both signs of gum disease. They will also measure the pockets between your teeth and gums to make sure they’re not bigger than they should be, as large gum pockets are a sign of unhealthy gums.

5. Looking at Your Bite

By checking out your bite, your dentist can see if your teeth have moved recently. Or, if you have braces, your dentist can make sure your teeth are shifting at an appropriate rate.

6. Performing a Cancer Screening

If you’re getting a complete exam, your dentist will also check your head, neck, lymph nodes, palate, cheeks and tongue for signs of infection or cancer.

7. Inspecting Your Salivary Glands

Your dentist will examine your salivary glands to make sure they are working properly and producing enough saliva.

8. Examining Your Tonsils

Your dentist will check the back of your throat and your tonsils for any signs of infection.

9. Checking Your Temporomandibular Joint

This important joint connects the jawbone to the skull. Your dentist will make sure it is healthy and working normally.

10. Checking Your Tongue

The texture and size of your tongue can reveal important information about your dental and overall health. Your dentist will give it a look to ensure there are no concerns.

See your dentist every six months for a checkup—you’ll be glad you did!

If you have questions about your dental health, contact Rigby Advanced Dental today!