Dr. Gray and his team always love to see you and your family in the dental office. We really do enjoy your company! And, of course, we love to see your smile and to take care of it. In keeping with the American Dental Association, Dr. Gray recommends that you and each member of your family from the youngest to eldest have at least two dental checkups and cleanings every year. Not only do we get the pleasure of your company at these visits, but we also can clean and polish your teeth and check to make sure your mouth is healthy.
You may wonder why two checkups are necessary each year if you maintain a good oral hygiene program at home and you aren’t having any difficulties. That’s great! We just want to keep it that way, and with regular checkups, we can help you avoid problems before they develop.
Your checkup begins with a thorough dental cleaning. One of our skilled dental hygienists will carefully clean and polish each surface of every tooth in your mouth. This way, we can be sure to remove surface stains that may reduce the whiteness of your smile as well as plaque and bits of tartar (hardened plaque) that are both precursors to gum disease. Right after a teeth cleaning is also a great time to have your teeth whitened. The gel will be able to do an even better job of brightening your smile.
When Houston dentist Dr. Gray conducts the exam portion of your visit, he looks closely at your teeth, your gums, and your entire mouth and throat. He’ll visually examine each tooth. Usually at one appointment during the year, we take digital X-rays in order to spots signs of tooth decay between your teeth or below the surface, an infection inside a tooth, any cracks that may split a tooth, and existing fillings that are in disrepair and may need to be replaced. If we find any evidence of trouble, then we can treat it more easily and effectively with early discovery.
In addition, we’ll complete a dental chart that includes the depth of your gum pockets. Our hygienist will use a small probe to measure gum pocket depths; a pocket deeper than four or five millimeters may indicate gum disease. Dr. Gray will also examine your mouth and throat for the early warning signs of oral cancer. It’s important for you to know these signs as well so you can be on the lookout for them in between visits to our dental office. They include: