Dental Checkup in Schaumburg, IL

If a patient is having a dental checkup for the first time, or if they have not been to the dentist in a while, they often wonder what a dental checkup is. During this routine appointment, a dental professional will check the smile, teeth, and gums for infection, decay, and disease, such as cavities or periodontitis (gum disease). At some point during the checkup, they will also be given guidance on home care. This allows them to keep their smile in the best shape possible between checkups.

Dental Cleaning at Your Checkup

During the dental cleaning, we’ll begin by removing the plaque—a buildup of bacteria that deposits onto the teeth. To do this, we’ll scrape the teeth above and below the gum line with special tools. The teeth may be rinsed periodically during this process. Then, we’ll floss between the teeth. If you don’t floss regularly, you may find this a little uncomfortable, but if you include flossing as part of your daily oral care practice, this discomfort will go away over time.

At the end of the dental cleaning, we will polish the teeth. This polishing helps protect the teeth against plaque buildup so they stay shiny and smoother longer. The polish is applied with a spinning brush and a paste. This paste resembles toothpaste but is slightly coarse, so it can better eliminate any residue that might have been missed. When we’re done cleaning the teeth, you may be asked to rinse and gargle with mouthwash.

Dental Examination

Dental Checkup in Schaumburg, IL Dental Exam & CleaningAt your exam, Dr. Aristodemo will speak to you about their dental history. She may ask you about medications and illnesses or whether they have any allergies, concerns, or anxieties. Always be honest with our dental team so they can provide the best care possible.

Dr. Aristodemo will check the teeth for any signs of concern by using a small mirror to look around the mouth. During this examination, she will look for swelling, sores, cuts or lesions, gum recession, and tooth decay. One of the most important things she will look for is spaces between the gums and teeth called dental pockets. Dental pockets pose a health risk and may indicate gum disease. Dr. Aristodemo may recommend home care and monitoring to protect the smile.

Dental X-rays

New patients and those who have not had them done in a while will be asked to have dental X-rays taken of their mouth at their dental checkup. These X-rays are necessary because they allow dentists to check the roots beneath the gum line, which are otherwise inaccessible. For the digital X-rays, the patient will bite down on a piece of plastic between their teeth. A machine will be placed near their cheek to take the image. Dr. Aristodemo will then review the image to check for any dental concerns.

The Importance of a Regular Dental Checkup

Our dental team recommends that all patients return to the office for dental checkups at least once every six months. Our dental team can monitor the smile for any signs of concern by scheduling regular appointments and cleanings. Waiting too long between checkups gives more time for plaque to build up, which may lead to cavities, tooth decay, receding gums, root canals, and more. Patients will also be taught how to prevent these issues during checkups.

Keeping oral health on track starts at home. Our dental team may make several recommendations for at-home oral care to prevent oral health issues between dental checkups. These oral hygiene techniques may include:

  • Brushing the teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Flossing daily
  • Using a mouthwash
  • Avoid smoking or other activities detrimental to oral health

Schedule Your Dental Checkup Today

It’s essential for everyone, young and old, to have a regularly scheduled dental checkup. Contact Happy Smiles Family Dentistry today to schedule your appointment. Don’t leave your dental health to chance—call today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Dental bonding is a cosmetic dental procedure that can repair tooth damage. The bonding process involves the adhesion of composite resin, a durable plastic material, to the tooth’s surface. The tooth-colored resin ultimately bonds to the tooth to improve its overall appearance.

This procedure is helpful for people with chipped, cracked, decayed, or discolored teeth. The composite resin used in dental bonding is pliable, allowing Dr. Aristodemo to customize and mold it into the proper shape or size. She can also color match the composite resin to closely match it to the natural color of the patient’s teeth.

A dental cleaning is a regular, routine cleaning that should be scheduled every six months to keep the mouth healthy and clear of harmful plaque. A deep cleaning, however, may be necessary for those who have not had a normal dental cleaning in some time. Deep cleaning is recommended when there are bacteria or tartar in pockets between the teeth and gums. These bacteria could lead to gum disease and, if not addressed, tooth loss.

Deep cleaning is also called scaling and root planing. While scaling removes buildup from around the gums, root planning goes deeper. During root planing, Dr. Aristodemo will remove buildup from the surface of the tooth roots. It may take multiple deep cleanings over time to be completely successful.

Dental sealants are thin plastic that we bond to the tooth surface as additional protection against tooth decay. This protective coating helps keep bits of food out of the grooves of the teeth and stops bacteria and acid from settling there. According to the American Dental Association, children with sealants are 80% less prone to cavities.

Dental sealants have been used successfully for more than 40 years and continue to grow in popularity. The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend this procedure for all children.

Lifestyle choices can have a direct effect on a family’s dental health. From poor sleep to smoking and piercings, many personal decisions can harm oral health. Using tobacco inhibits your mouth’s natural healing properties and makes you more likely to experience dental disease, while the hardware used in piercings in the lips, cheeks or tongue can cause gum recession and chipped teeth.

A healthy diet can also prevent dental issues down the road. A diet lacking in certain nutrients may make it more difficult for tissues in the mouth to resist infection, which can contribute to gum disease. This is a major contributor to tooth loss in adults.

It is best to limit the intake of excess sugar. Sugar is the bacteria’s food of choice and can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Many foods and drinks packed with sugar are also acidic, which can break down a tooth’s protective enamel. Drink plenty of water and eat a variety of foods from the five major food groups. The vitamins and minerals provided in such foods assist with oral health.

The teeth are connected to the jaw bone in the face through the tooth’s roots. These roots are deeply ingrained in the bone to provide structure and strength to the mouth, which is important for biting, chewing, and speaking. Without an oral hygiene routine, the teeth risk the buildup of bacteria, otherwise known as tartar and plaque. This appears as a yellowish buildup on the teeth around the gum line.

Over time, if someone does not brush, floss, and rinse at home regularly and maintain their regular dental checkups, this buildup can start to affect the smile. If left alone, the bacteria can get beneath the gums and create dental pockets. These pockets occur when the gum tissue starts to pull away from the teeth. This may also cause gum recession, which may eventually expose the tooth roots. If the bacteria have access to the roots beneath the gum line, they may gain access to the body’s bloodstream.

Once the bacteria can enter the bloodstream, the entire body may be at risk. Starting and following an oral hygiene routine will help prevent the buildup of bacteria and plaque on the teeth and keep the body safe. To protect the health of the smile is to protect the overall health of the body.

To maintain good oral health between dental checkups, an at-home oral hygiene routine is essential. Here is a list of recommended steps this routine should include:

  • Brushing twice a day with a dentist-recommended toothbrush
  • Flossing once a day
  • Using a fluoride mouthwash

This is not necessarily an exhaustive list, and the dentist may recommend additional steps depending on your oral health situation. If a patient is unsure about what oral hygiene products to use at home, they should ask our dental team for recommendations.