10 Things You Didn’t Know Your Dentist Was Doing at Your Checkup

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Two visits to the dentist each year keeps the cavities away. This is the magical number recommended by the American Dental Association, whether you’re an adult or a child. And while the main objective at this visit is to find cavities, the dental care you’ll receive doesn’t stop there. The dentist looks out for his patient’s oral care and that means doing far more than looking inside the mouth. 10 things that your dentist does at every checkup, even though you may not realize that it is being done:

1. First impressions are important, even when visiting the dentist. He’ll look you over upon entering the dental clinic to get a better idea of your overall health condition.
2. The dentist will examine your gums at each checkup. It is estimated that one in three adults suffers from gum disease, also called gingivitis, without knowing it.
3. Halitosis, or bad breath, is something that everyone experiences now and again. But chronic halitosis or excessive bad breath can also indicate oral health problems. The dentist oftentimes smells your breath to determine if potential oral health issues exist.
4. A sinus infection causes problems within the nasal cavities. The sinuses may drain into the mouth or throat which can create a multitude of problems. Your dentist will check for signs of sinus cavity inflammation and infection to reduce risks of affecting your teeth.
5. Gum disease and bad breath are bad enough, but they’re also both potential warning signs of diabetes. If both conditions are found at your checkup, the dentist is likely to recommend another visit to take a closer look at your mouth.
6. Stick out your tongue! The dentist is looking at the tongue to ensure that it contains the tiny white nodules that it should. Oftentimes oral cancer is detected by examining the tongue!
7. The enamel that covers the teeth is very thin and at-risk when oral hygiene isn’t sufficient. Yellowing enamel is one sign that you are losing enamel. The dentist will examine the enamel on the teeth to make sure this problem doesn’t cause tooth decay or other oral health concerns.
8. Your dentist is there to not only provide care but education as well. He’ll examine the condition of your teeth and gums to make sure that your oral hygiene game is up to par. He may make recommendations based on the findings of his visual inspection.
9. As the dentist examines your smile, he’ll look for any abnormalities or signs of defects with the teeth. If problems are found, the dentist will likely recommend a follow-up appointment for a more thorough examination.
10. Early warning signs of cancer can be spotted at the dental checkup, making this appointment even more vital than many patients realize. White Lesions in the mouth, blocked salivary glands, and other signs point to possible mouth cancers. The dentist looks for each of these signs at your dentist appointment.

Don’t miss those very important visits to the dentist for your checkups! These checkups are probably more important than you realized. Schedule your appointment today!