Make Time For A Dental Checkup

For too many people, the only time to see the dentist is when teeth begin to ache or other uncomfortable symptoms occur. At this point, an oral health concern could develop that requires substantial treatment. However, if you schedule a routine checkup and cleaning with your Des Moines, IA, dentist, we could identify these issues in the earliest stages. Let’s look at why you should always make time for a checkup.

When Should You See the Dentist?

We agree with the American Dental Association: People of all ages need to see their dentist at least once every six months for an exam and a dental cleaning. These visits are crucial for enabling the dentist to monitor your smile and watch for the earliest signs of trouble. If you have high risk factors for gum disease, we may suggest a visit every three to four months instead. In addition, we suggest routine care for children ages two and up as well.

The Checkup Process

During the checkup, the dentist will examine the smile with a visual scan and the assistance of advanced technology. We want to obtain a clear and detailed picture of your oral health. We will look for the warning signs of tooth decay and dental infection, and watch the gums for signs of inflammation (gingivitis) and gum disease. Wear and friction on the teeth could point to bruxism (teeth grinding) and we will also look for signs of tension that could identify TMJ disorder. For adults, once a year we will screen for oral cancer as well, watching for the tell-tale signs of cancerous and precancerous areas. The entire procedure only takes a short amount of time and enables us to address problems in the early stages, often before extensive treatment is necessary. For example, we could treat your cavity with a simple filling, as opposed to waiting until an infection develops and requires a root canal and crown.

Cleaning Your Teeth

The visit will also involve having your teeth cleaned. The cleaning procedure means we remove all plaque and tartar from your teeth. Created by bacteria, plaque weakens tooth enamel and could inflame the gum tissue, leading to a higher risk of cavities and gum disease. With a cleaning, we can help safeguard the smile while also offering brighter teeth and better breath. If you have any questions about our preventive visits, then please contact our team today. We would love to schedule your next preventive visit!


Our team looks forward to helping you maintain a healthy smile with preventive dentistry. For more information on our checkups and cleanings, then schedule a consultation with Dr. Burds by calling Gateway Dental Group in downtown Des Moines, IA, at (515) 244-9565.