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Why Everyone Needs Dental Checkups & Teeth Cleanings

Excerpt: At-home dental care is incredibly important, and you should be doing your dental routine 2-3 times a day.
Table of Contents

Dental Cleaning Facts

  • Plaque can be removed at home, but tartar needs a professional.
  • Cleanings generally only need to be done twice a year.
  • Regular cleanings can help spot any early signs of gingivitis more easily.

At-home dental care is incredibly important, and you should be doing your dental routine 2-3 times a day. So even if you are, you’re probably thinking why do they need to be cleaned every day, and professionally cleaned.

What happens at a dental checkup?

A regularly scheduled dental checkup will have these elements:

Physical Exam

The dental hygienist will take care of the cleanings. In the examination they will use special mirrors and other tools to check your mouth for signs of plaque and tartar build-up, gingivitis, and other concerns. If any significant problems are noticed the dentist may be called in for advice.

Plaque & Tartar removal

One of the most important reasons to get regular checkups is the removal of plaque & tartar. Plaque can build up pretty easily, and can harden to tartar in as little as 24 hours! The dental hygienist will use a mirror and other tools to carefully scrape the teeth clean. Plaque is much easier to clean than tartar, due to the hardness of the tartar. While the cleaning is performed, you feel and hear some scraping, this is expected.

Professional Brushing

A dental hygienist will use gritty toothpaste and a high-powered brush that will do a much better job at brushing than your personal brush. The toothbrush and paste are stronger than the at-home counterparts, they should only be used by a professional.

Professional Flossing

The hygienist will be able to achieve a deeper floss than you can at home since they are in a better position to do so, are professionally trained, and have lots of practice flossing. Flossing is generally something fewer people tend to do than more, so if you don’t floss every day your technique might be lacking and you could miss some hard-to-reach spots. A dental hygienist will make sure even the hardest-to-reach spots are clean. After the brushing and flossing, you will be asked to rinse.

Fluoride Treatment

Fluoride is a very useful component in the promotion of great oral health. The fluoride treatment will help to ensure that you are getting enough fluoride to keep your teeth and gums healthy. 
  1. The flavor of fluoride will be picked.
  2. The fluoride will be applied to two mouthpieces.
  3. The mouthpieces will be inserted into your mouth, along with a saliva ejector.
  4. You will be asked to gently bite down on them.
  5. The pieces will be removed and you can rinse your mouth.

X-Rays (Once a year)

X-rays are done once a year to keep track of any changes in the oral structures of the mouth that can’t be seen easily. Unless requested otherwise, you don’t usually need these done at every appointment unless it is something specific to your situation.
Calgary Trail Dental Clinic desk

Who benefits from dental checkups?

Everyone benefits from dental checkups. Even if you have perfect dental health and a perfect routine, your checkups can still act as insurance to make sure that you’re doing a great job. Certain issues like teeth grinding (bruxism), can be induced by stress, you might not even know you’re grinding your teeth (especially if it happens at night).

Frequently Asked Questions

We recommend twice a year, or every six months. Although, if you need it, you can schedule more.

You may be unknowingly missing spots, or have other issues that you can’t diagnose on your own. 

You can remove plaque at home, but once it hardens, it needs to be removed by a specialist.

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