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Dental Checkup

Dental Checkup in Idaho Falls

If a patient is having a dental checkup for the first time, or if they have not been to the dentist in a while, they often find themselves wondering what a dental checkup is. During this routine appointment, a dental professional will check the smile, teeth, and gums for infection, decay, and disease, such as cavities or periodontitis (gum disease).

At some point during the checkup, they will also be given guidance on home care. This allows them to keep their smile in the best shape possible between checkups. Scheduling your checkup with the best dentists in Idaho Falls is as easy as calling our Sandcreek Dental team in Idaho Falls at (208) 525-4780.

Dental Cleaning

During the dental cleaning, the dental professional will remove the plaque — a buildup of bacteria that deposits onto the teeth. To do this, the dental professional will scrape the teeth above and below the gum line with special tools. The teeth may be rinsed periodically during this process. Then, the dental professional will floss between the teeth. If the patient does not floss regularly, they may find this to be a little uncomfortable; but if they include flossing as part of their daily oral care practice, this discomfort will go away over time.

At the end of the dental cleaning, the dental professional will polish the teeth. This polishing helps protect the teeth against the buildup of plaque so they stay shiny and smoother longer. The polish is applied with a spinning brush and a paste. This paste resembles toothpaste but is slightly coarse so it can better eliminate any residue that might have been missed. When the dental professional is done cleaning the teeth, the patient may be asked to rinse and gargle with mouthwash.

Dental Examination

The dentist will speak to the patient about their dental history. They may ask the patient about medications and illnesses, or whether they have any allergies, concerns, or anxieties. Always be honest with our dental team so they can provide the best care possible.

The dental professional will check the teeth for any signs of concern by using a small mirror to look around the mouth. During this examination, they will be looking for swelling, sores, cuts or lesions, gum recession, and tooth decay. One of the most important things they will look for is spaces between the gums and teeth called dental pockets. Dental pockets pose a risk to health and may indicate gum disease. The dental professional may recommend home care and monitoring to protect the smile.

Dental Cleaning

New patients and those who have not had them done in a while will be asked to have dental X-rays taken of their mouth at their dental checkup. These X-rays are important because they allow dentists to check the roots beneath the gum line, which are otherwise inaccessible. For the X-rays, the patient will bite down on a piece of plastic that is placed between their teeth. A machine will be placed near their cheek to take the image. Their dentist will then review the image to check for any dental concerns.

The Importance of Regular Dental Care

Our dental team recommends that all patients return to the office for dental checkups at least once every six months. By scheduling regular appointments and cleanings, our dental team will be able to monitor the smile for any signs of concern. Waiting too long between checkups gives more time for plaque to build up, which may lead to cavities, tooth decay, receding gums, and more. Patients will also be taught what they can do to prevent these issues during checkups.

Keeping oral health on track starts at home. To prevent oral health issues between dental checkups, our dental team may make several recommendations for at-home oral care. These oral hygiene techniques may include:

  • Brushing the teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Flossing daily
  • Using a mouthwash
  • Avoid smoking or other activities detrimental to oral health

What happens during a dental cleaning?

What is a dental exam?

What is a dental X-ray?

What happens if someone waits too long for a dental checkup?

What at-home care should be done between dental checkups?

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About Us

Sandcreek Dental is a Family-Friendly Dentist Providing Personal Care since 1998 committed to providing quality dental care to families located in Idaho Falls, Ammon and the surrounding areas.


2460 E 25th St.
Idaho Falls, ID 83404

(208) 525-4780