Along with your daily dental health routine, regular checkups at David Rice DDS in Elgin are essential to maintaining good dental health, and the peace of mind that comes with it.
For most patients, we recommend a checkup every six months. Sometimes we need to see a patient more often, and sometimes less often. But twice a year is the norm.
Checkups are divided into two parts: the cleaning and the examination.
Cleaning your teeth is done by a hygienist, and usually comes before the exam.
- Teeth and gums are inspected
- Built-up plaque and tartar are removed
- Your teeth are polished
Plaque is a filmy, sicky layer of bacteria. You can remove it with daily brushing and flossing, but there may be hard-to-reach areas where some has remained. When it isn’t removed, plaque hardens into tartar.
Tartar cannot be removed by brushing and flossing. It can only be removed with special tools, in a process called scaling.
Polishing is a lot like brushing at home, but we use special tools for that, too. We also use a gritty paste that helps to get off any surface stains. This paste is strong stuff: okay to use every six months, but much too abrasive for daily use.
A dental examination is performed by the dentist. It involves your teeth and gums, as well as an inspection of the tongue, throat, face, head, and neck.
- Teeth are inspected for cavities
- Gums are inspected for any sign of gum disease
- Tongue, throat, and head area are inspected for any signs of cancer
Any issues are usually addressed in a follow-up appointment.
Between checkups, it’s important to brush and floss every single day. Plaque is constantly forming on teeth, but if you remove it every day it shouldn’t cause you any problems.
At David Rice DDS in Elgin we offer general and family dentistry. People from Bartlet, South Elgin, and Wayne also come to us for cosmetic dentistry, and know they can trust us with their smiles. Schedule a cleaning and checkup today!