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Here's What Your Dentist Is Looking For During Your Cleaning

Are you in the market for a new dentist? Curious about why regular cleanings are necessary when you are pretty diligent about brushing and flossing every day?

At Higgins Dental, located in Jacksonville, Florida, Dr. Marcus Higgins doesn’t just want to make sure you have incorporated good dental habits into your routine. Regular dental check-ups are important for more than just healthy teeth and gums, but your overall health as well. It’s recommended that you schedule appointments at least twice a year.

What happens at your clean-up

Dr. Higgins will check for cavities and other abnormalities during your exam. Sometimes, X-rays will be taken to check for cavities that may be lurking in between your teeth. He will also check for and remove any plaque and build-up, which consists of sticky bacteria. When this build-up hardens, it becomes tartar, which cannot be removed simply by brushing.

Failure to remove tartar can result in uncomfortable oral diseases. Tartar that builds up and causes undiagnosed cavities can worsen without treatment, and require root canals or even tooth extractions down the road. If Dr. Higgins finds a cavity during your clean-up, he may recommend scheduling a separate appointment for a filling, which involves removing decay from the area and replacing it with a special material that prevents further damage of the affected tooth.

Dr. Higgins will also check your gum health, which includes measuring the space that is between your gums and your teeth. Healthy gums have shallow spaces, while patients with gum disease have deeper spaces.

What your dentist will be looking for

Besides the usual suspects—cavities and gum disease—Dr. Higgins checks the health of your tongue and throat. Any signs of redness, swelling, or unusual lumps could be potential signs of cancer. If you are a smoker or chew tobacco regularly, you will want to have the peace of mind in knowing that you aren’t developing anything potentially dangerous that you can’t see on your own. Dentists have access to special tools and technologies to look in the nooks and crannies that can’t be easily observed by looking closely in the mirror.

Learn more about how regular check-ups improve your health

If you need a dental cleaning, Dr. Higgins will be happy to welcome you as a patient. You can schedule an appointment by calling 904-201-2847. You can also book an appointment online through our website. We look forward to hearing from you.

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