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Dental checkups are the best way to make sure your gums and teeth stay healthy. During your check up, your dentist will look for early signs of oral cancer and many other diseases. Your dentist will also look for gum disease, cavities, eroded fillings, tooth fractures, and oral infections. A check up can include some or all of the following procedures:

  • Dental and medical history update — your dentist will ask you about any oral or general health problems you have (e.g. changes in your teeth, sensitive gums, allergies, medical conditions)
  • Examination and treatment — your dentist looks for anything unusual and catches small problems before they become big ones
  • Cleaning — a cleaning makes your teeth and fillings smooth, so it’s harder for plaque to build up on your teeth. Plaque is clear and sticky. It forms on your teeth every day. If plaque is left on your teeth, it hardens into tartar (also called calculus). A cleaning is the only way to remove tartar. It cannot be removed with your toothbrush. If tartar is not removed, it can help cause gum disease. A cleaning also removes some stains, so your teeth look better.