Mouthcare 101

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As we get older, our dental routings often become an afterthought in our daily lives. We brush before bed but often that has become the extent of the care we give to our smile.


Most insurances allow for a free checkup each year. Some even go as far as providing two free checkups. Be sure to take advantage of this, because here you will get a deep cleaning and get your mouth health back to a solid foundation.

Most patients don’t recognize issues until it is already too late. At Austin Family Dentistry, we use checkups to find issues early and use preventative measures to avoid any serious procedures.

During your checkup, the dentist will examine for cavities. Cavities can be identified through manual examination and then confirmed using x-ray imaging. If cavities are detected, it is crucial to undergo dental procedures like fillings to prevent additional harm.

The dentist will proceed to examine for the presence of plaque and tartar. Plaque is a malleable, adhesive, transparent layer of bacteria. Plaque can be eliminated through a suitable brushing regimen. However, if certain areas are neglected in the brushing routine, plaque may accumulate, solidify, and transform into tartar. Tartar is a hardened, yellow or brown substance that must be removed by a dental professional, as it adheres to the tooth enamel.

Next, your gums will be examined using a tool that measures the depth between the teeth and gums. It is crucial to assess gum health accurately, as deeper spaces can indicate gum problems and potentially lead to serious issues.

Lastly, your dentist will assess the tongue, throat, mouth, and neck to ascertain the presence of any notable swelling. This can assist in proactively addressing any potential significant concerns.


Cleanings take place at the same time as your checkup. This is the part that people fear due to pain associated with a thorough cleaning. However, keep in mind that with proper mouthcare, plaque and tartar can be avoided, and therefore scraping tools used to remove tartar don’t need to be extensively used.

Due to the potential presence of plaque and tartar in your teeth at the time of your checkup, a dentist will employ scaling to eliminate them. This employs a specialized tool capable of navigating the narrow gaps between teeth that are challenging to access through brushing.

After scaling the teeth, we will proceed to polish them using a specialized paste that effectively eliminates surface stains and enhances the whiteness of your teeth.

Then, to finish, your teeth will be adequately flossed. This process effectively eliminates any remaining food particles or other substances that may be lodged between the teeth.

Using the Right Tools

Now, once your checkup and cleaning are complete and your mouth is back to its base cleanliness, it’s time to make sure you utilize the right tools to keep it clean moving forward. Selecting the appropriate toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, and mouthwash all contribute to maintaining optimal oral hygiene.

In order to make suitable decisions, it is often necessary to conduct a modest amount of research. Make sure that your toothpaste, toothbrush, and other tools are recommended by the American Dental Association. This will assist in setting you up for success by ensuring that you are utilizing appropriate hygienic products.

You are also welcome to inquire and seek recommendations from our experts at Austin Family Dentistry. We can provide guidance, engage in a discussion regarding the distinctions between products such as electric and manual toothbrushes, and assist you in finding the appropriate route to achieve a hygienic and radiant smile.

Schedule a Checkup Today

If you don’t already have a checkup and cleaning on the books, it’s time to give your dentist a call today. Once this is accomplished, you can make sure to have recurring appointments scheduled so you never fall behind in your dental hygiene again!

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