Dental Check-Ups

In Dental Hygiene, Dental Services by [email protected]

Dental Check-ups

Dental Check-Ups in San Marcos - The Hills Family Dentistry

At The Hills Family Dentistry in San Marcos, we prioritize preventative dental care through regular checkups. A dental checkup typically involves two main components:

  1. Teeth Cleaning: Performed by a dental hygienist, teeth cleaning involves removing plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth, particularly around the gum line, using specialized tools. Floss is used to remove debris from between your teeth, and polishing removes surface stains, leaving your teeth smooth. At your initial visit and subsequent visits, our hygienists will measure your periodontal pockets with periodontal probes to detect signs of inflammation, tarter buildup and signs of periodontitis (bone loss with the presence of tissue attachment loss).
  2. Dental Examination: Dr. Martin and Dr. Thomas will conduct a thorough examination of your teeth, gums, mouth, tongue, and throat. This includes checking for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, and other potential issues. Both doctors will also assess your bite, jaw joint, and any existing dental restorations. X-rays will be taken to provide further insights into your oral health and detect hidden problems. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends a full set of x-rays be taken every 5 years and check-up x-rays (four bitewing x-rays – these look between the teeth to detect cavities and 2 periapical x-rays – these look at the roots, between the front teeth to detect cavities and edges of the front teeth) once every year – this is what our office follows and strongly recommends.

Additional Components of a Checkup

  • Discussing your oral hygiene habits and providing personalized recommendations for improvement.
  • Reviewing your medical history and medications for potential interactions with dental treatment.
  • Answering any questions you have about your oral health and addressing any concerns.

Frequency of Checkups

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends dental checkups and cleanings every six months for most individuals. However, the frequency can vary based on individual needs and risk factors. Factors that may require more frequent visits include:

  • History of Gum Disease: Individuals with periodontal disease may need more frequent cleanings to manage the condition and prevent further damage.
  • High Risk for Tooth Decay: People prone to cavities due to dietary habits, dry mouth, or other factors may benefit from more frequent checkups.
  • Medical Conditions: Certain conditions like diabetes or suppressed immune systems increase the risk of oral health problems, necessitating more frequent visits.
  • Smokers and Tobacco Users: These individuals are at higher risk for gum disease and oral cancer, requiring closer monitoring.

Importance of Regular Dental Checkups

Attending regular dental checkups is crucial for maintaining good oral health, preventing problems, and catching issues early when they are easier and less expensive to treat. Consistent examinations provide for early detection of cavities, infection, gum disease, and jaw problems. These exams are typically done during your regular dental cleanings, which are commonly scheduled twice a year.


The ADA defines a dental checkup as a comprehensive oral examination and professional cleaning performed by a dentist or dental hygienist. This typically includes reviewing your medical and dental history, evaluating oral tissues for signs of oral cancer, gum disease, or other abnormalities, examining teeth and restorations for cavities or damage, taking X-rays to identify hidden issues, professional cleaning to remove plaque and tartar, and providing oral hygiene instruction.

For more information about dental checkups and to schedule your next appointment, contact The Hills Family Dentistry today at (760) 798-7166.