Having a regular dental check-up and professional teeth cleaning is an integral part of preventive dental care (along with twice-daily tooth brushing, daily flossing and minimising dietary sugars).
In order to keep a vehicle running smoothly, most people make sure to change the oil and check the fluids regularly. Maintaining good dental health requires a similar commitment to regular care.
In our practice, check-ups include:
- A review of your current health status (because your general health affects your dental health)
- A comprehensive dental check-up that examines the health and function of teeth, gums, and soft tissues of the mouth (such as the tongue, cheeks and back of the throat), as well as the current status of existing fillings, crowns and bridges, implants, dentures and other dental appliances
- Dental x-rays and other imaging (if required)
- A thorough professional cleaning of your teeth (if required)
- Provision of topical fluoride, anti-sensitivity products or other topical medicaments if these are needed to fortify your teeth
- Tailored advice about how to keep your teeth and gums healthy
- An opportunity for you to ask questions about any aspect of your dental health
Dental Check-Ups for Children
If you have children, a regular dental appointment ensures that:
- Their teeth are regularly checked for decay
- Their bite is being monitored to ensure it’s developing correctly
- They receive timely support if they are struggling to keep their teeth clean
- They receive our encouragement to choose tooth-friendly, healthy and nutritious foods and beverages (sometimes parents need back-up in this department!)
- They get to know the team that will help them enjoy good dental health for life.
Dental Check-Ups for Denture Wearers
If you wear full dentures, you should still visit your dentist regularly so that we can:
- Do a comprehensive oral cancer screening
- Assess the fit of your dentures
- Check your jaws for signs of bone loss
- Clean your dentures (if needed)
- Advise how to keep your dentures clean (if required)
- Answer any questions you may have
Professional Teeth Cleaning
A professional tooth cleaning is also called a “scale and clean” or “scale and polish.” It’s a service provided by dentists which involves
- The removal of deposits of plaque and tartar from the teeth and below the gumline (read more about plaque and tartar below)
- Removal of food- and beverage-related stains on the teeth
- A thorough cleaning of the spaces between the teeth. This makes it easier to floss!
- A thorough cleaning of other difficult-to-clean spaces in your mouth. This includes:
- Around orthodontic braces
- Under and around dental bridges
- The fitting surface of dentures and other dental appliances
- Tailored advice about how to improve your dental home care (if required)
By the end of your appointment, your teeth will not only be cleaner, you’ll leave our practice knowing exactly what you need to do to keep them clean and healthy.
How We Clean Your Teeth
First, We Scale
“Scaling’ refers to the removal of the hard, cement-like deposits of tartar (also termed “calculus”) from teeth and below the gumline.
We primarily use an ultrasonic scaler, an appliance which breaks down deposits of tartar using ultrasonic frequencies and water. The tartar and water are suctioned away, leaving freshly-liberated teeth and gums behind. The tooth enamel isn’t damaged in any way, because the scaling tips are blunt and used with great care.
Ultrasonic scalers allow us to remove hard deposits faster than with the hand instruments (scalers) that were used in the distant past. We still use hand scalers if they are needed to remove tartar from difficult to reach areas, or if the patient prefers hand scaling.
Then We Polish
We polish teeth using an instrument which is a little bit like an electric toothbrush. The head rotates and rubs a slightly-gritty polishing paste over the teeth. This removes stains and any remaining soft plaque deposits and leaves the teeth feeling squeeky clean.
Regular Dental Check-Ups Are Important
Get into the habit of visiting the dentist every six months or however often Dr Teo recommends, based on your individual needs.
It is a good idea to schedule your next exam and cleaning in the office before you leave. This means you won’t forget your next appointment! We’ll remind you of an upcoming appointment via a phone call or SMS.
Frequently Asked Questions At Dental Check-ups
If you have any specific questions about your dental check-up and clean appointment, please feel free to call the practice or ask Dr Teo at your next appointment.
Here are some questions that are often asked about check-ups.
Why Are So Many Questions Asked About My Medical History and My Health?
There is much evidence to show that general and dental health can have a significant impact on each other. Dr Teo would like to know as much as possible about your current state of health, medical history and what medications you are taking. In this way, she can be alerted to situations where certain approaches to dental treatment may need to be modified, or take special precautions to accommodate your medical condition(s).
Please let Dr Teo know about any medical condition that you are experiencing now or have experienced in the past, including:
If you are pregnant or suspect you could be, please inform Dr Teo at the beginning of your appointment.
All information provided to Dr Teo is considered confidential. Records are stored securely for the protection of your privacy.
Do You Check My Mouth for Cancer?
Yes, we provide a comprehensive oral cancer screening at every check-up appointment.
What Is Plaque?
Dental Plaque is the name given to the layer of bacteria that forms in your mouth and accumulates in stagnant areas, such as in between your teeth and at your gum line. It is generally sticky and colourless but can be removed by thorough brushing and flossing. Everyone forms dental plaque on their teeth, and it starts to reappear shortly after you’ve finished brushing.
If the bacteria in plaque are exposed to sugar, they start to produce acid. This acid is able to dissolve tooth enamel and cause tooth decay (cavities). It also irritates the gum to cause gum disease (gingivitis).
What Is Tartar?
Calcium and phosphate minerals from saliva accumulate around teeth and form calcific deposits which require professional assistance with removal.
If left untreated, the tartar can contribute to the loss of the bone supporting the teeth: this is called periodontal disease or periodontitis. If this periodontal bone loss continues untreated, it may result in increasing mobility of the teeth and ultimately loss of teeth.
Treatment of tartar buildup involves removing it by a professional scale and clean.