10 Things You Didn’t Know Your Dentist Was Doing at Your Checkup
Approximately every six months you should visit Southwest Family Dentistry for your regular dental check-up. While these check-ups may seem simple, Dr. Batlle and his team are doing a number of things that you may or may not realize. All these things being done during your dental check up are what makes these semi-annual check ups so important to maintaining your oral health. Listed below, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 things you didn’t know Dr. Batlle was doing at your checkup.
- Checking Each Tooth: Dr. Batlle will use a small mirror to carefully examine every tooth in your mouth for changes since your last appointment. He may also test your teeth for signs of tooth sensitivity.
- Scraping Away Plaque and Tartar: After checking your teeth, a dental hygienist will use specialized tools to scrape away excess plaque and tartar from your teeth. This will rid your mouth of the bacteria that can cause gum disease and make your teeth appear brighter.
- Polishing Your Teeth: Once the excess plaque and tartar have been removed, your teeth will then be polished. This polish not only makes your teeth look great, but it helps to prevent further plaque and tartar from sticking to your teeth.
- Evaluating Your Bite: Next, Dr. Batlle will evaluate your bite to see if your teeth have shifted or if there are any signs of malocclusion. Sometimes shifting is necessary, for example if you have braces. Other times, shifting could be problematic or serve as an indicator of a different issue that needs to be addressed. Malocclusion occurs when the teeth don’t line up properly and will need to be corrected to avoid future dental issues.
- Checking Your Temporomandibular Joint: After checking your bite, Dr. Batlle will check to make sure your temporomandibular is functioning properly and is able to move freely without clicking, catching, or grinding.
- Performing a Cancer Screening: Since more and more people are being diagnosed with oral cancer, Dr. Batlle will perform an oral cancer screening focused on your head, neck, lymph nodes, palate, cheeks, and tongue for any signs of possible infection.
- Examining Your Gums: Dr. Batlle will examine your gums and look for any signs of bleeding or swelling. He will also measure your gum pockets. Swelling, bleeding, and large gum pockets are all signs of unhealthy gums and could possibly indicate gum disease.
- Inspecting Your Salivary Glands: Your salivary glands will be inspected to make sure they are producing adequate amounts of saliva. Saliva is essential to allowing the mouth to keep itself clean and if the mouth is not producing enough saliva, the risk for possible infection can increase.
- Checking Your Tongue: Since the size and texture of your tongue can serve as indicators to your oral and overall health, Dr. Batlle will thoroughly examine your tongue and make note of any noticeable changes.
- Examining Your Tonsils: Finally, Dr. Batlle will examine the back of your throat, looking for any signs of possible infection around or on your tonsils.