What to expect during a dental visit- Keeping Teeth and Gums healthy

Regular dental checkups are vital for keeping teeth and gums healthy.  A regular dental visit should occur every six months or according to what your dental professional recommends. Dental visits usually consist of two parts, namely the examination or checkup and the cleaning.


  • During a dental checkup, dental professionals check for cavities. An x-ray may be taken for the purpose of detecting cavities between the teeth.
  • A dental exam may also include a check for tartar and plaque on the teeth. Plaque features a sticky, clear layer of bacteria. It can harden and turn into tartar when it is not removed. Tartar cannot be removed by simply brushing and flossing. A buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth can lead to oral diseases.
  • Gums are checked by using a special tool that measures the spaces between teeth and gums. Spaces are usually shallow when the gums are healthy. Spaces may be deeper if a person has gum disease.
  • A checkup should also consist of a careful examination of the neck, head, face, throat and tongue. This helps to look for sign of trouble such as cancer, swelling or redness.


Teeth are also cleaned during a dental visit. Brushing and flossing help to clean plaque but tartar cannot be removed at home. Dental professionals utilize special tools to get rid of tartar during the cleaning process, which is also known as scaling. Visit a dentist in Rockville Maryland here.

Once the teeth are scaled, the next step may be to polish them. A gritty paste is often used to remove surface stains on the teeth. Flossing is the final step to ensure that all the areas between the teeth are clean.

Oral Hygiene at Home

It is important to take proper care of teeth and gums between dental visits. You can manage the plaque that forms on your teeth through regular brushing and flossing. There are a number of good oral care tips that you can implement at home:

  • Brush your teeth every day, at least and ensure that the toothpaste you use contains fluoride.
  • Floss on a daily basis.
  • Use mouthwash to regulate plaque bacteria and keep your breath fresh.

When you need to see a dentist

  • Swelling or pain in your mouth
  • A family history of gum disease, gums bleeding when brushing or flossing, puffy gums
  • Self-conscious about your smile
  • Ensuring your dentures, dental implants, crowns or fillings are in good condition
  • Ongoing medical issues such as eating disorders, cardiovascular disease or diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Difficulty swallowing or chewing
  • Dry mouth
  • Using tobacco
  • Jaw pain
  • Sores and spots in the mouth
  • Checkup is due

Having a great smile not only opens up more opportunities for you in your personal and professional life, it also keeps you healthy. Preventative dental care is necessary for your health.

Key Considerations

  • Regular dental visits are essential because they keep the teeth and gums healthy.
  • The two parts of a dental visit include the checkup and cleaning.
  • During a dental checkup, the dentist checks overall health for signs of trouble.
  • During cleaning, the dental professional removes any buildup of plaque and tartar and can polish your teeth.