Oral Health Month is in full swing and here at Surf City Dental, we think it’s the perfect time to remind all our patients about the importance of keeping up with regular dental checkups! Consistent cleanings and exams not only keep your teeth and gums healthy, they’re also important in preventing future issues and maintaining overall health.

We realize that dentist appointments can be nerve racking for many people as well. That’s why we do our best to keep patients informed about what to expect when they visit our office – especially if it’s your first time in our chair.

But before we bite into that…just why are dental checkups so important?

Dental Checkups — The Root Of Healthy Teeth

As a general rule, it’s a good idea to visit your dentist every six months or so for a complete evaluation and cleaning. However, your Surf City Dental team may recommend more or less frequent visits depending on your mouth health and any issues you’re experiencing.

No matter how often you come to the office for a checkup, you’ll realize a number of benefits at every visit. First of all, it’s a chance to give your teeth a thorough cleaning, keeping your smile bright, your breath fresh, and helping to prevent cavities. It’s also an opportunity to inspect the rest of your mouth for issues like gum disease, tartar buildup, or damaged dental work. Regular checkups can also detect signs of oral cancer, identify problems with your bite or the alignment of your jaw, and leave you with tips on how to keep up with good oral hygiene practices at home.

Visiting your dentist for regular checkups is the best way to be proactive about your oral health. In turn, you’ll keep your teeth looking and feeling their best and most likely catch any issues before they become major (or painful) problems.

What To Expect At Your Surf City Dental Checkup

On your first visit with us, we like to spend a little time getting to know you. Our team will ask about any dental concerns you have and get some background regarding your medical history. This information helps us take better care of your mouth, teeth, and gums, as well as look out for your overall well being.

(P.S. – For your convenience, we provide a Health History Form and HIPPA Privacy Form on our website so you can download and complete it before your initial visit.)

During the exam, here’s what you can expect:

1. Full mouth series of x-rays
For first time patients, your examination will include x-rays of your entire mouth. These images allow our team to view the structure of your jaw, revealing things like misaligned teeth and TMJ disorders. They can also help to identify malformed roots, structural deformities, and latent tooth decay, all of which can cause issues with your dental health.

2. Head and neck examination
A team member may also perform a head and neck assessment to check for signs of oral cancer. During this, we’ll look at your head, neck, and the inside of your mouth to identify any discolorations, lumps, or lesions. Then, we’ll feel your lymph nodes and jaw line, checking for abnormalities there as well.

3. Comprehensive dental exam
Of course, we’ll also perform a full dental exam to get a solid understanding of your mouth’s overall health. We’ll look at your teeth, gums, cheek, and tongue, as well as any existing dental work, like fillings and crowns.

Our team will identify areas of concern, which can include things like excess tartar or plaque buildup, receding gums, sensitive teeth, or loose or damaged dental work. If any problems arise, we’ll discuss them with you and decide what the next steps should be to get them taken care of.

4. Complete cleaning
Finally, your Surf City Dental team will give your teeth a thorough cleaning. They’ll remove plaque and tartar build-up from the surfaces, floss, and give them a good polish, leaving your teeth sparkling, your breath fresh, and you smiling from ear to ear!

At Surf City Dental, we pride ourselves on treating every patient with honesty, transparency, and respect. That’s why we strive to let you know exactly what’s happening each time you step foot in our office. If you’re due for a checkup or are looking for a new dental practice, give us a call. We’d love for you to trust us with your dental care and look forward to seeing you in our chair!