When Was Your Last Checkup and Cleaning?

tcleaningEven if you are diligent with your oral hygiene at home you shouldn’t skip your regular dental checkups and professional cleanings. You attend your dental checkups twice a year to prevent dental diseases, decay, or other problems from developing. For most people, two checkups per year are sufficient, but if you have diabetes, are at risk for periodontal disease, or have other special concerns your dentist may recommend more frequent visits. When was your last checkup and cleaning?


Dental checkups are important as a preventive measure against serious problems, including oral cancer. Your dentist or hygienist will examine your teeth, tongue, and oral cavity using a metal probe and dental mirror. He or she will look for oral sores, lumps, redness or swelling of your gingival tissue, for evidence of bruxing (grinding and clenching), and temporomandibular joint disorders (TMDs). Your dentist or hygienist will also poke your gums gently looking for bleeding–a sign of periodontal disease–and your teeth looking for soft, sticky tooth structure, signs of early decay. Your dentist should also palpate your tongue.

Dental Cleanings

Professional dental cleanings are the only way to remove built up and calcified plaque (tartar or calculus). During the cleaning, the dentist or hygienist will use a dental scaler to scrape off tartar above and below the gum line. He or she may also use an ultrasonic scaler which vibrates to shake loose plaque and tartar which is then rinsed away with a stream of water. Polishing will come next. Smoothing the teeth with a lightly abrasive paste makes it more difficult for plaque to accumulate. Your dentist will then floss your teeth and finish up with a fluoride treatment.


Dr. Quinn Smith is a well-respected and highly experienced general, restorative, and family dentist in Grand Prairie, TX. He takes a patient-first approach that starts from the moment patients enter our Pecan Tree Dental office, and he offers a three-year guarantee on all dental work that he performs. Whether you and your family are new or returning patients, you can schedule a consultation or your next appointment with Dr. Smith by contacting us at (972) 262-5111.