If you have been neglecting your own teeth because you have been worrying about everything that needed to be taken care of when the kids went back to school in August or September, it is time to schedule an appointment with your dentist for a thorough checkup and professional cleaning.

Having a professional dental hygienist or dental technician clean your teeth every six months will keep tooth decay at bay and can tell you and your dentist or hygienist if your gums are nice and healthy.

Unfortunately, even people who take meticulous care of their teeth and gums may be suffering from gingivitis or dental caries because of the food you consumed or drank prescription medications, smoking, or diabetes.

Most dental practices have a dental hygienist who will clean your teeth before doing an evaluation, which may include x-rays. Once the dentist looks at your x-rays checking for any signs of decay or changes to your gums, the two of you will discuss your medical history.

First time visitors to a new dental practice will usually have a comprehensive examination. Even if you have been prudent with good oral health habits and had regular care with your past dental care provider, your new dentist will want to make sure that he or she is familiar with your overall health as it will make it easier for your new dentist to notice any changes that may occur in the future. 

When you see the dentist for the first time, or are returning to your regular dentist for a checkup, it is important that you make sure you mention any changes that may have occurred with your health. Even if it does not relate to your teeth, gums, or mouth, recent research indicates that poor oral health may be related to your overall health. Diseases such as diabetes can increase your risk of periodontal disease.

Make sure that you bring a list of all of your prescription, non-prescription, supplements, vitamins, and remedies with you as some medications can increase your risk of dry mouth. Your dentist will also want to make sure that any drug that may be prescribed will not interact or interfere with something that you are already taking.

Get your mouth in order before the holidays and schedule an appointment with your dentist for a regular or comprehensive dental exam now.

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