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Brushing and flossing alone are not enough to maintain oral health. General dentistry services, like dental exams and cleanings, can be performed to detect the signs of dental damage. Learn more about the importance of dental exams and cleanings in this overview from our Palmyra, IN dentist, Dr. Toni Sartini.

What to Expect during a Dental Exam and Cleaning
Dental exams and cleanings should be performed on a routine basis, at least once every six months. During a typical dental exam, the teeth will be evaluated for any signs of decay, fractures, or general damage. The gums will be evaluated for signs of gum disease or any irregularities. Dental X-rays may be taken to check the roots of the teeth and look for signs of damage or other oral health issues. Oral cancer screenings may also be included in a dental exam.

Professional cleanings may be performed by a dental hygienist. During the cleaning, the hygienist will pay special attention to the gum line and back teeth, removing plaque and tartar buildup often missed by brushing and flossing at home. The hygienist will floss the teeth and may demonstrate proper techniques for brushing and flossing, if needed.

The Importance of Dental Exams and Cleanings
Dental exams and cleanings are key to preventing oral health problems and detecting oral health issues early. Combined with good oral hygiene habits, undergoing regular dental exams and cleanings can help keep your smile healthy and functioning at its best. Dental exams and cleanings are important to oral health for the following reasons: 

Detects oral health issues early: Undergoing dental exams every six months allows your dentist to catch oral health issues at their earliest stages, when they are most easily treated.
Prevents plaque and tartar buildup: Plaque and its mineralized form, tartar, can buildup on the teeth where daily brushing and flossing are unable to reach. Regular cleanings help prevent such buildup, ensuring the teeth stay clean and healthy.
Prevents tooth decay: Dental exams and cleanings can prevent tooth decay when combined with proper at-home oral hygiene habits, including brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day.
Reduces the risk of gum disease: Gum disease, a bacterial infection of the gums, is commonly caused by plaque and tartar buildup along the gum line. Dental exams can detect gum disease so the appropriate treatment can be performed, while professional cleanings help reduce the risk of gum disease by removing plaque and tartar buildup from the teeth.
Helps maintain dental function and appearance: Regular dental exams and cleanings help keep the teeth looking and functioning their best.
Schedule Your Next Dental Exam
A beautiful, healthy smile requires routine care and maintenance. Including regular dental exams and professional cleanings in your oral hygiene routine will help keep your smile healthy for many years to come. Don’t wait any longer. Schedule your next dental exam with Dr. Sartini today. Dr. Sartini will perform a comprehensive exam and recommend treatments to improve the health and appearance of your smile.