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The American Dental Associations recommends visiting the dentist twice a year for a teeth cleaning and checkup. Your visit generally has two stages.

In stage one a hygienist cleans your teeth using a few basic tools to help remove plaque and tartar that has built up since your last cleaning. While regular brushing and flossing can remove a lot of plaque, you cannot remove tartar on your own at home.Tartar that is allowed to build up for too long can cause the gums to pull back from the teeth leading to gum disease. The hygienist will then use floss to help clean the spaces between your teeth. After the initial cleaning the cleaning your hygienist will also look for any possible signs of tooth decay using a standard dental probe.

After the tartar has been removed the hygienist will then polish your teeth with a mildly abrasive paste and a rotary tool. The polishing procedure is only intended to remove mild surface staining. Deep staining will often require some form of tooth whitening procedure.

In stage two the dentist will check your teeth for any signs of decay as well as inspecting your gums for signs of gum disease. Sometimes X-rays will be taken in order to assess other factors, including tooth and bone health. The dentist will then perform a basic oral cancer screening, checking your tongue, throat, face, head and neck looking for any signs of infection, swelling or cancer.

This is also a good opportunity for you ask questions about your oral hygiene regimen or treatment options, should there be a problem. If you are due for a regular dental visit please call our office at 912-354-9541 to schedule an appointment.