A clinical exam is more commonly refen-ed to as a routine check up. This check up lets your dentist essentially take inventory of the overall health of your mouth and teeth and diagnose any potential problems you may have.
Dental Home Care
No treatment will be effective unless you follow it up with routine and proper home care. This means you should brush and floss regularly after every meal and at a minimum twice a day. The key is not only to do it regularly but also to do it right. Here's how.
To properly floss you should wind the floss around both of your index fingers and push it between each of your teeth in your mouth. Make sure to freely move the floss upwards, downwards and even sideways to remove any food particles or plaque that may be lodged between your teeth or under the gums.
Many people these days use an electric toothbaish such as a Sonicare. Whether you use an electric or still prefer a manual brush you should hold the brush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth. Gently but thoroughly rotate the bristles across your teeth and under your gums with a backward and fonward motion. Be sure to also get the top surfaces of your teeth where you bite or chew on food. Your tongue can also be cleaned with your toothbrush, which will help reduce bad breath. Lastly it is important to brush the inside surfaces of your teeth with the same rotating motion.
In most cases a clinical exam by itself is not sufficient to completely diagnose all potential problems with your mouth. In fact, the majority of problems with your teeth and the jawbone are not visible to the naked eye. That is why x-rays play a key role in allowing a better, and more accurate look at what is really going on inside your mouth and below your teeth and gums. By using x-rays your dentist can check for any bone loss and determine the severity of the gum disease.