Why Regular Dental Visits Are Important


Maintaining oral health is an ongoing practice. Good oral care practices such as brushing twice daily, flossing before bed, and rinsing with mouthwash are all great ways to maintain the health of the gums and teeth. However, even when a person is diligent with their oral care, they still need to see their dentist at least every 6 months or as recommended by their dentist in order to make sure their oral health is in optimal condition.

Tartar, also known as dental calculus, can still form on the teeth and beneath the gum line over time, despite regular brushing and flossing. If left alone, it will trap bacteria between it and the teeth and under the gums which can lead to oral health complications. Only the equipment used by a dental hygienist can safely remove it.

A dental checkup is also needed to check for cavities, gum disease, tooth or gum infections and oral cancer. If left unchecked, any of these oral health issues can lead to further health problems an more complex treatments to rectify.


A normal visit to the dentist consists of two parts. The first is the dental check up or examination. Then comes the dental cleaning, also known as oral prophylaxis.

Dental Examination

During the examination, the dental professional will start by checking for cavities. They will look directly into the mouth of the patient and survey the surface of the teeth for any signs of decay. They might also take some X-rays to check for cavities between the teeth.

They will then check for the presence of plaque and tartar. Plaque is a clear, sticky layer of bacteria that forms on the teeth after eating and drinking. If it is not removed, either by dental cleaning or regular oral care, then it will harden to become tartar, which can’t be removed by brushing and flossing. It will have to be removed by a dental hygienist. Excessive buildup of plaque and tartar leads to gum disease and infections which can cause greater health problems that aren’t limited to the mouth. That is why it is important to have it removed on a regular basis.

After checking for plaque and tartar, the gums will be checked. A special tool is used to measure the depth of the space between the gums and teeth. Healthy gums have a shallow space between the gums and teeth. Gum disease causes inflammation of the gums. The swelling that happens causes those shallow spaces to become deeper, allowing for more bacteria to be trapped under the gums, making the problem worse.

A dental checkup will also include an examination of the tongue, face, head, neck and throat. This will check for any signs of trouble including swelling, redness, or signs of cancer.

Young woman with a dental mirror in her mouth while periodontist checks the patient.
Periodontist with a dental drill working on a patient's teeth

Dental Cleaning

A dental cleaning is broken down into four steps. First, the dental hygienist will remove the tartar build up from the teeth and beneath the gum line using special dental tools to pick and scrape the tartar away. This process is called scaling.

Once the tartar has been removed, it is time to polish the teeth. A powerful polishing tool and gritty paste is used to clean any surface stains which are present on the teeth. Once the polishing is complete, the hygienist will clean between the teeth with dental floss.

The cleaning will finish off with a fluoride treatment. A mouthpiece is filled with a fluoride foam and inserted into the patient’s mouth and kept there for a few minutes. The fluoride restores minerals to the surface of the teeth, strengthening the remaining enamel on the teeth and preventing the growth of oral bacteria and further cavities from forming.


Once the examination and cleaning have been completed, the dentist will go over the results of the examination. If there are any major dental issues to address, they will talk about them with the patient, and provide recommendations for treatment. The patient will then need decide which treatments they would like to proceed with and then book any follow up appointments that are necessary to receive the treatment, as well as the next regular examination or cleaning as recommended by the dentist.

Man in a dental chair smiling at his dentist.


We're experts in dental hygiene services!

The dental team at Preston Dental Center always has your best interests in mind. We will always handle your situation with care and present you all of your options for tooth replacement. With our expertise, you can and should trust our recommendations for treatment, as they will always be the best options for your complete oral health.


A modern, centrally located dental office that employs some of the most advanced dental equipment and instrument sterilization techniques makes Preston Dental Centre a unique health care facility. The warm inviting offices, natural light in every room and professional staff will all confirm that PDC is unlike any dental office you have visited before.

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