In addition to daily brushing and flossing, you can help protect your oral health by seeing your dentist regularly for checkups. It’s recommended that most people get a dental checkup every six months, but Dr. Howe may recommend more frequent or fewer visits, depending on your dental health history.
Both your dental hygienist and Dr. Howe will examine your teeth, gums, and mouth, to look for changes or signs of a problem (for example, a cavity or gum disease or early signs of oral cancer). During the examination, we will use a special probe to measure the “pockets” between your teeth and gums, an explorer tool to touch your teeth and determine if any cavities are present, and a mouth mirror to get a better view of the sides and back of your teeth. We use digital x-rays and an intraoral camera to help us see potential problem areas, but to also make you aware of what conditions are present in your mouth. If you have any visible problems, Dr. Howe is able to complete nearly all treatment here at our office. In rare cases he may refer you to a specialist for further treatment.
Since your oral health is closely related to your overall health, it’s important to communicate any concerns or problems you are having with Dr. Howe.
Be sure to:
- Tell Dr. Howe about any new health problems you have been diagnosed with since your last visit (for example, diabetes or heart disease).
- Make a list of all medications and supplements you take, including their dosages. Take this list with you to your dental checkup so Dr. Howe can review it.
- Let Dr. Howe know if you suffer from dental anxiety. Fear of the dentist is common, and we can work with you to make you more comfortable during your checkup.
Talk with Dr. Howe about any problems or changes you’ve noticed with your teeth, gums, or the inside of your mouth. The earlier Dr. Howe knows about pain, sensitivity, or a suspicious lump, the ealier it can be diagnosed and treated.