dental exams | patient with dental hygienist

Dental Exams and Cleanings: Why They Matter

Dental Exams

All too often, it’s the basic things that get neglected. That is definitely the case when it comes to dental exams and cleanings. For some patients, a dental exam and cleaning appointment is redundant because they feel that they are brushing and flossing correctly at home. Others mistakenly believe that this type of appointment is only necessary when there is a previously identified dental problem. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to be reminded of why dental exam and cleaning appointments matter.

Brushing and Flossing

You’ve probably heard it a million times by now: You need to be brushing your teeth at least twice daily and flossing at least once a day. There is no question about it. This routine activity helps to dramatically reduce the risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. But it’s not always enough.

It’s always possible to miss a spot or two. And that’s all it takes for plaque to gain a foothold in your mouth. Once plaque hangs around for a while, it hardens into something called tartar over time. And tartar can only be removed by dentists, or a dental hygienist, at a dental cleaning appointment. 

So brushing and flossing at home is extremely important. But you should think of it as a one-two punch that, when combined with regular dental exam and cleaning appointments, gives you your best chance of avoiding problems like tooth decay and gum disease.

Early Detection

Another reason why it’s important to keep up with routine appointments like dental exams and cleanings is that it gives your dental team an opportunity to examine your teeth, mouth and gums. A trained professional, like your dental hygienist, can spot early problems before you know anything is even wrong. Early detection and intervention leads to more successful outcomes.

Your Dental Exam

A dental exam often precedes a dental cleaning. This is when your dental hygienist or dentist examines your teeth, mouth, and gums for things like early signs of tooth decay and gum disease. They will also be on the lookout for oral cancer. Although oral cancer is somewhat uncommon, it can be deadly when left undetected and untreated.

If any problems were found during your dental exam, your dentist may be called in for a closer examination. You may be scheduled at that time for some type of dental treatment in the future, assuming that the problem is not urgent.

If everything checked out okay at your dental exam, you will likely proceed to the dental cleaning portion of the program.

Your Dental Cleaning

During a dental cleaning, your dental hygienist will use a special dental instrument to scrape away any plaque or tartar found on your teeth. Since plaque and tartar is the main cause of gum disease, this is a preventative cleaning that can save you a great deal of time and expense down the road.

Schedule a consultation today.


Friendly Dental of Worcester

Unique Dental of Framingham

Middleboro Family Dental

Unique Dental of Pembroke

Uxbridge Family Dental

Unique Dental Of Winchendon

Cinema Smiles Dental

Unique Dental of Worcester

Wareham Family Dental


Unique Dental of Putnam

Related Articles