What Happens at a Regular Dental Checkup?

Regular dental checkups are crucial to your overall oral health. Ideally, you should see a dentist for a routine checkup and teeth cleaning at least every six months. By doing this, you can ensure that you’re keeping your teeth in excellent condition and are being proactive in detecting any problems that may arise. At Gentle Dental Maine, we know that some patients don’t love going to the dentist, which is why we do everything we can to make every checkup as comfortable and enjoyable as possible! The best part about regular checkups and teeth cleanings is that you’ll walk out of our office with a fresh, clean smile that feels and looks amazing! In this article, we’ll go over some things you can expect when you come see us for a regular dental checkup!

Consultation Exam

The first part of a regular dental checkup is typically a consultation exam with one of our dental hygienists. The hygienist will speak with you about your overall and oral health, then examine your teeth and gums to ensure no apparent problems. Once we’ve documented any changes in your health or smile, we’ll happily answer any and all questions you might have!

Teeth Cleaning

The next step in a regular dental checkup is a teeth cleaning. These twice-yearly teeth cleanings are absolutely essential for your oral health! While your at-home oral care is, of course, crucial for healthy teeth and gums, only a professional can effectively clean your teeth of hardened plaque or tartar. This build-up on your teeth and gums will carefully be cleaned using various hand tools and instruments, while your dental hygienist takes the utmost care to keep you as comfortable as possible throughout the cleaning process. Once the hard plaque has been removed, and your teeth are clean as can be, it’s time for polishing! Your hygienist will use a specially formulated mixture of abrasive material and fluoride on a rotating brush to any stains on your teeth, making them look and feel fresh and clean!


X-rays are not taken every checkup, but depending on the oral exam results, the time elapsed since your last checkup, and your oral health history, your dentist may want to take x-rays of your teeth to ensure everything is in good health. Dental x-rays are quick and painless and can be done right there in the chair you’ve been sitting in since the start of the checkup.

Discussion & Recommendations

The final part of a regular dental checkup is a conversation with your dentist. This step depends on the findings of your oral exam and x-rays, but typically you’ll have a quick chat with your dentist about your oral health. If any recommendations need to be made, your dentist will discuss them with you!

Contact Gentle Dental Maine!

If you have any questions about dental checkups or are looking to find a dentist for you and your family in the Southern Maine area, don’t hesitate to contact Gentle Dental Maine! With offices in South Portland, Biddeford, and Topsham, we’re here to provide you with any dental care you may need! Give us a call at any one of our offices, or if you’re not yet a patient with us, please fill out the new patient form on our website!