By Last Updated: March 17, 2023

At Springbank Hill in SW Calgary, we always advocate for preventive dentistry. This entails dental procedures that are routinely done to keep your oral health in check. With this, dental diseases and unnecessary dental procedures are avoided.

Among our preventive dentistry measures include regular dental checkups. This is often overlooked, as many patients only seek dental help when something is painful. But dental checkups play an essential role in keeping your mouth healthy and your smile beautiful now and into the future.

To give you a better idea, let’s take a closer look at what happens during your dental checkups at Springbank Hill in SW Calgary with these FAQs…

10 FAQs on Dental Checkups and Teeth Cleanings

What to expect during a dental checkup?

A dental checkup involves three basic steps — comprehensive dental examination, teeth cleaning, and oral health education.

During a dental exam, your teeth, gums, and tongue are thoroughly examined. If needed, your dentist may take an X-ray to evaluate the bones of your teeth. Then, areas of concern are noted down.

These may include:

  • Teeth needing fillings
  • Swelling or redness of the gums
  • Teeth discolorations
  • Unusual tissue overgrowths
  • Loose teeth

Once the checkup is done, routine teeth cleaning is performed to scrape off plaque and tartar buildup that harbor harmful bacteria in the mouth. And finally, before you leave the dental office, your dentist will share some efficient tips and tricks to maintain and improve your oral health. 

What happens during my child’s first dental checkup?

Our pediatric experts at Springbank Hill Dental recommend children visit the dental clinic as soon as the first tooth comes out. Their first dental checkup should mainly be for inspecting the growth of the tooth and monitoring their oral habits. Gentle teeth cleaning is also done using a slurry of dental polish and a brush. 

First-time child patients may feel anxious, curious, or apprehensive in the dental clinic. But our team is committed to providing them with a positive and fun experience for their first visit.

How long does a dental checkup take?

A dental checkup with teeth cleaning can take anywhere between 45 to 90 minutes. It all depends on the current state of your oral health. The more dirt that needs removal, the longer the procedure can take. We aim to ensure all bacteria are removed to prevent future dental problems.

Before your dental checkup, we encourage you to prepare your questions for your dentist. Whether it be about tooth pain, toothbrushing habits, or the food you take, you can take the time during a dental checkup to clear your concerns.

How often do you need a dental checkup and teeth cleaning?

Dental checkups and teeth cleaning are usually done twice a year, every six months. But this still varies for every patient. A once-a-year visit can suffice if your oral health is in excellent shape. Meanwhile, other patients may need up to 3 visits a year for checkups and teeth cleaning. Especially those with gum or periodontal problems.

Why do you need a dental checkup?

Some benefits you can enjoy with regular dental visits for checkups and teeth cleaning include:

  • Prevents plaque, tartar, and bacteria build-up
  • Improves your at-home hygiene care for better oral health
  • Detects dental issues early for a more efficient treatment
  • Helps with early diagnosis, treatment, and management of oral cancers
  • Saves your money with fewer dental procedures, cheaper costs
  • Restores your confidence in your health and smile

What happens during a teeth cleaning?

During your appointment for a dental checkup, teeth cleaning will also be performed either by your dentist or hygienist. Professional dental cleaning or prophylaxis helps to remove bacteria build-up, stubborn stains, and dirt and debris that you cannot scrape off with simple toothbrushing.

Using an ultrasonic scaler, all tooth surfaces are cleaned, removing dirt, plaque, hard calculus, and tartar. All nooks and crannies are meticulously checked to make sure the teeth are squeaky clean. Then, using a prophy brush and pumice mixture, the teeth are polished to remove stains.

Is dental cleaning painful?

You can feel some tooth sensitivity as the scaler vibrates against your tooth. This is especially true if you have heavy plaque build-up that needs more effort to remove effectively.

If some specific teeth or areas need extra cleaning attention, you may request your hygienist for numbing using local anesthesia. This can help ease any sensitivity for a more comfortable dental cleaning experience.

What are other procedures done during teeth cleaning?

Fluoride application may also be included in your appointment, especially for children. Fluoride strengthens the tooth enamel and prevents the progress of budding cavities. Depending on the product, fluoride can be in the form of varnish painted on the tooth or a gel dispensed on a tray worn over the teeth for a few minutes.

What to do after teeth cleaning?

After your dental cleaning appointment, a 30-minute window is advised before you consume food or drinks. This helps to allow the fluoride to seep into the tooth and take effect. You should also avoid consuming anything too hot or too cold to prevent any sensitivity.

What can I do to maintain clean teeth?

After every dental checkup and teeth cleaning appointment, your next goal is now to maintain the beauty of your smile. Some tips to do just that include:

  • Brush and floss your teeth 2 – 3 times a day
  • Do gentle, circular brushing motions using a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Make sure your toothpaste contains the ideal amount of fluoride
  • Use a tongue scraper and a mouthwash
  • For denture-wearers, use the appropriate cleaning agent and technique to prevent damage to your dentures

Preventive Dentistry for You and Your Family

Springbank Hill Dental offers world-class dental care at the heart of SW Calgary. With our advanced dental equipment, innovative techniques, expertly trained dentists, and reliable dental staff, we can provide you with dentistry that meets the most exceptional standards.

Book an appointment now for your initial consultation with us!