Regular dental exams are an important part of preventive health care.
During a dental exam for young children, the dentist will clean your child’s teeth and evaluate your child’s risk of tooth decay. A dental exam for young children might include the application of various protective measures – such as sealants or fluoride treatments – to reduce the risk of decay. A dental exam for children might also include dental X-rays (radiographs) or other diagnostic procedures. During a dental exam for children, the dentist will likely discuss your child’s diet and oral hygiene habits and demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques. Dental exams might also include counseling about diet, use of tobacco products, the health risks associated with tobacco, substance abuse, and oral piercings and other lifestyle factors that can affect oral health.
During a dental exam, your dentist or hygienist will also ask about:
Any health problems you have or medications you're taking and discuss how they might affect your oral health. If you have diabetes, for example, you're at increased risk of gum disease. Any medication that contributes to dry mouth can increase your risk of tooth decay. If arthritis interferes with your ability to effectively brush your teeth, your dentist or hygienist might show you how to insert the handle of your toothbrush into a rubber ball for easier use or recommend a powered or electric toothbrush.
During a dental exam for older children/teens, the dentist will:
Evaluateyour overall health and oral hygiene
Evaluateyour risk of tooth decay, root decay, and gum or bone disease
Evaluateyour need for tooth restoration or tooth replacement
Checkyour bite and jaw for problems
Remove any stains or deposits on your teeth
Demonstrateproper cleaning techniques for your teeth or dentures
Assessyour need for fluoride
Take dental X-raysor, if necessary, do other diagnostic procedures