Regular dental visits are essential parts of the average person’s life. From the time our first baby teeth come in, our dental check-ups are there to ensure that our mouths are as healthy as possible. However, while it might seem like these appointments are merely for cleanings and lectures about cavities, there’s actually a lot more going on behind the scenes. These are some of the interesting things you didn’t know about your dental check-ups and why they’re so important.
Examinations Check for Oral Cancer
When the dentist is examining our mouths, it’s common to find ourselves anxiously waiting to hear about cavities that will need filling. However, this isn’t all that’s involved in the inspection process. In fact, as our dentists check the health of our teeth and gums, they’re also looking for the beginning signs of other mouth conditions such as oral cancer. This illness is a very real threat that dental practitioners are trained specifically to screen for. As such, scheduling your routine cleaning every six months is vital to preventing a larger problem.
Dentists Also Track Basic Health Information
Have you noticed how dental assistants take your vitals before the cleaning process begins? Though it might seem like your dental health is irrelevant to your overall physical health, serious conditions like heart disease can develop from failing to get proper oral treatment. So, in order to have a full understanding of how healthy you are, dentists like to track things like your heart rate and general oxygen levels. With a full view of your current condition, they can determine the best treatment for you.
Cleanings Are Performed by Dental Hygienists
Another thing you probably didn’t know about your dental check-ups is that your cleanings are performed by dental hygienists rather than the dentists themselves. These roles are incredibly similar, so it’s easy to mistake a dental hygienist for your dentist or think that they’re performing the same job. However, the differences between the two are pretty straightforward when you break it down. The job of your dental hygienist is to thoroughly clean your teeth and remove debris so that the dentist can see them clearly. They’ll also often educate you on how to better care for your teeth and prevent cavities. Dentists, on the other hand, use their time with you to fully examine your teeth and identify any problems that may need to be addressed with treatment.