What to expect at a dental check up

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What’s the importance of a routine dental check up?


We understand that visiting a dentist can be quite a nerve-wracking experience, but routine check ups are a great way to keep on top of your oral health and to help stop potential problems from getting worse.  Depending on a number of factors including age, smoking status and gum health, your dentist will advise you on how frequently you should visit. If you’re not sure, perhaps consider visiting every six to twelve months for a check up and cleaning. Visiting more frequently increases the possibility that minor tooth and gum problems can be fixed before they get worse. If problems do develop, it can end up becoming a much costlier treatment in the long run.  

If you’re wondering what to expect at a dental check up, a routine dental check up is typically split into three parts: A discussion with your dentist, teeth cleaning, and a thorough examination of your oral health.

We break down what to expect at your first dental check up and the sorts of questions your dentist may ask you about your oral health.

What to expect at your first dental check up


Medical history 

When you visit SD Dental for your regular dental checkup, your dentist will ask you a few questions about your medical history and health; such as allergies, alcohol consumption, medications and whether you smoke. This is because certain medications might give you an increased risk of tooth decay or gum disease, which a dentist can be on the lookout for. Your dentist might also recommend incorporating some additional dental care into your daily dental routine.

Teeth cleaning

Our dentist will get to work cleaning your teeth by gently scraping built up plaque and tartar from around your teeth. Plaque is quite normal and is a soft sticky substance leftover from food and bacteria. However, it can cause problems and advance to tartar if not removed properly. Tartar is what accumulates on your teeth when plaque isn’t removed and can cause tooth discoloration  as well as gum / periodontal disease. Though brushing your teeth can help stop plaque from progressing to tartar, a thorough cleaning with a dentist can get rid of hard to remove plaque. After the cleaning our dentist  will polish your teeth to get rid of any residue they may have possibly missed. This will also make your teeth look cleaner and shinier too!


What to expect at a dental checkup: Cleaning process

  • Your dentist will perform a deep clean or ‘scale’ of your teeth to remove any Tartar
  • You’ll have your teeth polished with a special paste to help protect your enamel from bacteria and remove stains
  • You’ll be given a rinse to flush  out any debris

Teeth examination

Now that your teeth are all shiny and clean, your dentist will make a thorough examination of your mouth. Using an angled metal mirror and small metal probe, your dentist will check for any swelling of the gums, mouth sores and the health of your teeth. Things a dentist will look out for include; cracks to the enamel, decay , wear signs or grinding and  signs of oral cancer. Your dentist may recommend doing some X rays to see if there are some problems that aren’t visible to the eye. To perform the X ray, you’ll be asked to bite down on a special piece of plastic while the X ray machine is placed against your cheek. This X ray will reveal if you have any hidden cavities and provide a clear picture of your bone health and teeth roots.

What to expect at a dental checkup: What an X ray can detect

  • Decay that isn’t visible to the eye
  • The presence of gum disease
  • Abscesses and infections
  • Development of wisdom teeth
  • Problems with fillings, crowns or implants
  • Tooth development problems or injury to the tooth

Post examination

After your teeth have been cleaned and your dentist has checked that your oral health is clear of signs of decay and cancer, you’ll be recommended some after care to help keep your teeth and gums going strong until your next checkup.

What to expect after a dental checkup: Typical dental aftercare routine

  • Brush your teeth twice a day and floss
  • Limit sugary or acidic food and drinks
  • Limit drinks that will cause excess stains (coffee, red wine etc.)
  • Gently brush your tongue once a day
  • Drink more water

Dental regular check up with SD Dental


We hope we’ve given you a good idea on what to expect at a dental checkup. If you’d like to book your first dental check up appointment you can book online here or call us on 07 3821 0277. Our  friendly dentist offers a number of preventative and restorative dentistry treatments to keep your smile gleaming. Transform your oral health today with SD Dental.