It’s that time of year again. Ideally twice a year, you should be booking your cleaning with your dentist. If you are looking for a dental exam in Bethesda, keep reading to learn more about how we can help and what we can provide!

What is a dental exam?

There are many different reasons people go to the dentist. Hopefully, you don’t wait to book an appointment until you are in pain! Going to the dentist for regular exams and cleanings is an important part of oral health. So what are the different types of dental visits you can have? Let’s have a look.

Initial visit

When you book an initial visit with your new dentist, this is a time for them to check out your oral health, take some initial X-rays, and do a cleaning. Your dentist might also ask you to fill out a survey about your oral health. They might also perform certain gum measurements to determine your risk for gingivitis.

Dental Cleaning

Dental hygienist usually perform the routine dental cleaning. This trained hygienist will carefully clean and scrape the plaque or other build-up from your teeth and gums. Sometimes the dentist will participate or sit on this part, but most likely, it will be the hygienist doing it.

According to the American Dental Association, you should have a cleaning at least once a year. If you are susceptible to plaque build-up or at a greater risk for gingivitis, having your teeth cleaned more than once a year is recommended. During this time, your hygienist will also talk about strategies and best practices for oral health.

Dental Exam

A dental exam is something that will usually happen right after your cleaning. The dentist will do the overall dental exam and not the hygienist. Depending on the status of your oral health can sometimes be really quick, or might take a little longer. The dentist takes a general overall look at your mouth, but also is looking for potential deeper issues.

Some of the things your dentist will be on the lookout for are:

  • Gum Disease
  • Signs of oral cancer
  • Periodontal disease
  • Signs of other decay that need to be addressed

Your dentist might take digital x-rays if they think it will give them a better idea of the health of you mouth.

Why do I need to go to the dentist regularly?

Going to the dentist might feel like a huge chore. It’s on the list of things that many adults begin to ignore once their schedule fills up. But going to the dentist regularly is an important part of your overall healthcare. Your teeth and gums are yours for life. Once your adult teeth grow in, those are the only set you get! Taking care of them means keeping your smile healthy for as long as possible.

Believe it or not, there are many medical issues that have symptoms that show up in your mouth first–even if they have nothing to do with your mouth in the end. For example, some studies show that a few periodontal diseases are linked to potential body inflammation.

So illnesses like stroke and heart disease have symptoms that can show up in certain bacteria in the mouth. This is one important reason to continue to schedule frequent dental cleanings and exams–especially as you age.

Are dental exams painful?

It’s perfectly understandable that you want to avoid things that are painful at all costs! If you book your dental exam in Bethesda with us at The Dental Institute, we will do everything we can to keep you comfortable and feeling safe. There are parts of the cleaning or the exam that could cause pain.

Generally, this depends on the health of your teeth and gums and your oral health habits before you even come to the dentist. Here are some ways you can help make your dental exam in Bethesda as pain-free as possible,

  1. Brush your teeth regularly–this means at least twice a day, but maybe more depending on what you are eating. If you tend to eat or drink sugary foods or food with lots of colors, you might plan to brush after eating those foods.
  2. Drink lots of water–keeping your liquid intake to good old H2O as much as possible helps to keep your gums and teeth cleaner. It rinses away the residue of foods you eat and doesn’t add a sugary layer on top.
  3. Floss as regularly as you can–flossing your teeth daily helps to disrupt the bacteria that tend to settle on your gums. When you do this regularly, they don’t have time to sit on your gums and cause damage.

You’ll notice if you do these things regularly, that when you go to the dentist for cleanings and exams, things are less painful and take less time.

Book your dental exam in Bethesda with us today

If you’re still on the fence about whether or not The Bethesda Dental Institute is the right fit for you, call us today or come in for a free consultation. Our dentists and staff are committed to making sure every person we come into contact with leaves happier and healthier than they were when they walked in our doors or when they picked up the phone.

Dental cleanings and exams are an important part of your regular healthcare and maintenance. Although it can be easy to ignore or push aside for something else that seems more urgent, the more you keep up with your oral health, the less time you will have to spend getting potentially painful procedures in the future! It’s a win-win!

Reach out to The Dental Institute for your dental exam in Bethesda today! We can’t wait to help you!