What Gets Checked in a Dental Checkup?

What Gets Checked in a Dental CheckupWhen you glance at your calendar and see “dentist visit” written down, perhaps you wonder if that time is really necessary. What’s the harm in skipping a dental checkup and cleaning, or coming less often? If you skip the cleaning, then hardened tartar will remain on your teeth. Your teeth won’t be smoothed and polished, and plaque will have more places to cling and hide. If you skip the dental checkup, you will miss some important services that go beyond maintaining the health of your teeth.

Your Teeth and Our Technology

As a hygienist cleans and polishes your teeth, she or he is always on the lookout for early signs of gum disease or tooth decay. In addition, we may use our intraoral camera to take pictures of your teeth. These images can be enlarged on the spot, to see fine details. The images can also be easily stored as part of your permanent dental record.

Screening for Oral Cancer

At a checkup, we will gently probe your mouth, neck and throat, feeling for lumps or tender spots that might indicate the presence of oral cancer. Especially if you currently smoke, have smoked in the past, or use smokeless tobacco products, this is important. E-cigarette research is limited, but it does not currently indicate e-cigarettes (vaping) offers a reduction in risk for oral cancer.

Why We Ask About Headaches

Headaches that show up in the morning, without seeming to have a defined cause, may have dental roots. Episodes of repetitive teeth grinding (bruxism) may take place while you sleep. Sleep apnea can disrupt sleep, causing headaches upon awaking. Issues with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can also cause headaches. Headaches with dental origins often have dental solutions. A mouth guard helps with bruxism, and there are dental appliances to help with obstructed breathing. Correcting malocclusions (teeth that do not meet properly) can relieve headaches stemming from stress on the TMJ.


At Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry in Houston, TX, Dr. Amy Vlachakis (pronounced Vla-ha-kiss) and her dedicated staff strive to make everyone feel like family, while providing top-notch general, cosmetic, and family dentistry services to patients of all ages. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, call our office today at 281-974-4494. Located in Memorial City Plaza, we proudly serve patients throughout Houston, Memorial City, Bunker Hill, West Beltway, City Center, Hedwig Village, and all surrounding communities.

Plan Your Visit

Looking for a dentist you can trust? Give us a call today to experience everything Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry has to offer.