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Time for a dental check-up? Here’s what to expect at your appointment

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Dr Teresa Li
April 23, 2024

Is it time to book your next dental check-up?

Whether it’s been six months on the dot or a few years since your last visit, there’s no time like the present to lock in a dental check-up and clean appointment.

Why? Because scheduling regular check-ups with your dentist every six months is the best way to catch small issues early and prevent big problems in future.

Read on to learn all about what you can expect at your dental check-up appointment and why regular check-ups are so important for your smile.

What happens during a dental check-up and clean appointment?

If it’s been a little (or a long) while between visits, you may be a bit unsure about what happens during a dental check-up and clean. But the good news is that dental check-ups are easy-peasy and pain-free. All you need to do is sit back, relax and let your dentist do the work.

Here’s a rundown of what to expect during your check-up and clean appointment:

  1. Oral examination
    Your dentist will examine your teeth, mouth and gums to get a clear picture of your oral health.

  2. Scans and x-rays
    Next, your dentist will check out what’s going on below the surface of your smile with scans and x-rays. You may not have an x-ray taken at every dental check-up — only every now and then or when your dentist recommends it to monitor your teeth.

  3. Teeth cleaning
    Time to polish up those pearly whites! Your dentist will gently scale and clean your teeth and gums to remove any stains, plaque or tartar.

  4. Fluoride treatment
    Lastly, your dentist will give you a fluoride treatment to rinse your mouth with. This helps to prevent decay and keep your tooth enamel strong.

How long does a dental check-up and clean take?

A standard dental check-up and clean appointment takes approximately 40 minutes. But if it’s your first check-up at TL Dental, be sure to allow around an hour for your appointment — this means we’ll have plenty of time to get to know you and tailor your treatment to your needs.

After your dental check-up and clean, you can go about your day as normal. We only ask that you avoid drinking or eating for at least 30 minutes after your appointment so the fluoride treatment can take effect.

A patient has a check-up and clean at TL Dental
What happens during a check-up and clean appoinment at TL Dental? Simply sit back and watch your fave Netflix series on the overhead TV while we care for your smile

How much does a dental check-up and clean cost?

Adult check-up and clean appointments at our Port Macquarie dental practice start from $215 and children's check-up and clean appointments start from $150. If you’d like to see our full price list, simply download it below.

Time to tick ‘dental check-up’ off your to-do list?

Book your appointment online now or download our New Patient Guide to see our full list of treatments and fees

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Concerned about the cost of caring for your smile? Don’t be!

At TL Dental, we offer flexible dental payment plans so everyone can afford to keep their smile clean and healthy. This means you can get the treatment you need now and pay for it in comfortable instalments that suit your budget.

Why are dental check-ups important?

Regular dental check-ups aren’t just a great way to get a sparkling clean smile. They’re also the best way to ensure your teeth stay healthy and strong for life.

The Australian Dental Association recommends that everyone — both adults and children — should see their dentist for a dental check-up and clean twice a year. This allows your dentist to keep an eye on your oral health and spot any early signs of decay or gum disease before they turn into more troublesome (and expensive) problems down the track.

A mother and child visit TL Dental for a dental check-up
Keeping your family's teeth in top condition is easy at TL Dental. As a kid-friendly practice, we know how to make even the littlest patients feel completely at ease during their dental check-up appointment

I already brush and floss my teeth every day… Why do I need teeth cleaning from my dentist?

Unfortunately, brushing and flossing alone cannot clean away all of the plaque build-up on your teeth. This is where your dentist comes in. Thanks to their specialised teeth cleaning tools, they can ensure any plaque or tartar is properly removed.

If left untreated, plaque and tartar can wear down your tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay or cavities. Plaque can also cause irritation, inflammation and bleeding of the gums, resulting in gingivitis or early stage gum disease.

Should children have regular dental check-ups?

Yes, definitely! Even if your child only has their baby teeth, it’s still very important to bring them in for regular dental check-ups. Decay and cavities can happen to even the tiniest teeth. And if left untreated, they can create much bigger problems for your little ones in future.

Did you know your child’s first dental visit should be around the time of their first birthday?

Many parents are surprised to learn they should start dental visits from such a young age. During this first appointment, your dentist will check on the development of your child’s first set of teeth. They’ll also be able to assess if your child has any risk factors or is showing any early signs of oral health issues and create a prevention plan to suit.

Want to learn more about caring for your little one’s teeth? Be sure to download our Tiny Teeth Matter guide below for everything you need to know about setting your child up with a healthy smile for life.

A child has a check-up and clean appointment at TL Dental
Kickstart good oral health habits for life by taking your kids for regular dental check-ups from a young age

Children’s dental visits without the tears? It’s possible at TL Dental…

We know that taking your kids to the dentist can feel like pulling teeth (excuse the pun!) That’s why we do everything we can to make dental check-ups a delight for our littlest patients. Your children can enjoy the gentlest care in our kids-only consultation rooms, filled with lots of fun distractions to turn any frown upside down. Plus, we have a dedicated children’s oral health therapist who has a special knack for helping little (and big) kids feel calm and comfortable.

We also have bulk billing available for children’s dental appointments and eligible families can also access the Child Dental Benefits Scheme. You can find out more about how the CDBS works in this article.

Are dental check-ups safe during pregnancy?

Yes, it’s not only completely safe to have dental check-ups during your pregnancy — it’s recommended. While your pregnancy hormones are working their wonderful magic and helping your new baby grow, they can also, unfortunately, wreak havoc on your gum health. Issues like bleeding gums and gingivitis are common during pregnancy, and without proper treatment, this can turn into gum disease. Be sure to keep up with your regular dental check-ups and let your dentist know that you are or may be pregnant at your appointment.

A pregnant woman has a dental check-up at TL Dental
It's common to experience bleeding gums and gingivitis during pregnancy. If you're planning pregnanncy or you're a mum-to-be, be sure to keep up with your regular dental check-ups so your dentist can monitor your oral health

Will a dental check-up and clean hurt?

Fear not! A standard dental check-up and clean shouldn’t hurt. But you may experience a little sensitivity or slight discomfort as your dentist gently cleans your teeth. If you’re feeling uncomfortable or need to take a break at any time during your appointment, just let your dentist know.

We understand that dentist visits can be a very anxious time for some patients. So, if you’re feeling nervous or worried about your check-up, be sure to tell us a the start of your appointment. We’re experts in helping you feel at ease and have plenty of tried-and-tested ways to keep your dental fears at bay. And who knows — after you lie back in our comfy chairs and switch your fave Netflix series on the overhead TV, you may even forget you’re at the dentist!

A patient smiles after a dental check-up at TL Dental
A dental check-up at TL Dental will always leave you smiling - who knows, you may even look forward to your next visit!

Want to ask us a question about dental check-up appointments?

We’re always happy to answer any niggling questions you may have about dental check-ups and what to expect at your next appointment. Just get in touch at dentists port macquarie and we’ll get you sorted.

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