How Dental Checkups Work

Dental checkups are an important part of routine dental care. At routine checkups, we examine the smile, clean your teeth and gums, and provide dental X-rays as needed. As your dentist in Lititz, PA, we want to ensure that you know what happens during regular checkups and understand the importance of visiting us twice a year.

Local dentist in Lititz, PA

Checkups with Your Dentist in Lititz, PA

Dental checkups are integral to preventative dental care. See what happens during a routine dental checkup in our office:

Dental Exams

During a dental exam, we thoroughly inspect the teeth, gums, and soft tissues of the mouth. We look for irregularities and common signs of oral health issues, including gum disease, cavities, and even oral cancer. Dental X-rays can also help us get a better view of the parts of the smile we can’t see with our eyes. While we may not take X-rays during every appointment, we recommend X-rays once a year.

Dental Cleaning

Our dental hygienists provide thorough, detailed dental cleanings during regular dental checkups. We will use dental mirrors to look for emerging dental problems. If we find major dental problems, Dr. Sara Gotwalt will come to examine the smile and provide a diagnosis.

To begin the dental cleaning, we will use a scaler, a small metal tool, to scrape off plaque and tartar. Plaque and tartar is the hardened form of plaque. We will focus between teeth and along the gum line to clean bacterial buildup. Then, we will use a high-powered toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to brush the teeth. Finally, we will rinse and polish the teeth.

Dental X-rays

We take dental X-rays yearly to keep track of your oral health. Compared to traditional X-rays, modern dental X-rays have much lower levels of radiation and allow us to save and share images with specialists.

With X-rays, we can see dental problems that we cannot see during a visual examination. We can also plan dental treatment based on what we see through X-rays. Dental X-rays are particularly valuable when we need to look for TMJ problems, emerging wisdom teeth, and signs of gum disease or tooth decay that we may not see at first glance.

Why Are Dental Checkups Important?

We recommend dental checkups biannually or every six months because they help us keep track of our patient’s oral health. X-rays and examinations allow us to find signs of dental problems, while cleanings help maintain your oral health. Taking dental X-rays at routine appointments helps us find emerging dental problems and target these problems before they worsen. X-rays can also show problems we cannot see with the naked eye.

It is much more difficult to try to remove tartar at home. Once plaque hardens, it is very difficult to remove with a toothbrush alone. During regular dental cleanings, we use specialized tools to remove plaque and tartar, helping prevent problems like gum disease and tooth decay.

Has it been a while since your last dental appointment? Contact your local Lititz, PA dentist today at 717-627-6980. You may also schedule your next dental visit with Dr. Sara Gotwalt on our website.


Drs. Sara & John Gotwalt
Lititz, PA Dentist
2320 Rothsville Road, Suite 300
Lititz, PA 17543

New Patients 717-627-6980


Monday – 8:00AM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday – 8:00AM – 5:00 PM
Wednesday – 8:00AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday – 8:00AM – 5:00 PM

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