Why do dentists poke your teeth?The reasons behind the odd things we do at check-ups

As you sit in the dental chair and our team looks into your mouth, you may be curious as to why they have so many tools on the tray next to the chair.
Or you may have some queries about why they are shining a bright light into your eyes and asking you to wear an eye shield.
It goes without saying, dental check-ups can be nerve-wracking but they can also be a bit puzzling. Many patients wonder why their dental professional asks them to perform so many odd things while they are in the chair (such as moving their tongue), especially since all the check-up is for is checking for cavities and gum disease. Isn’t it?
At Brisbane Dental, our team knows how odd these procedures can appear and while you are visiting our dentist in Coorparoo for your check-up, we will endeavour to explain each stage of the check-up if you want us to. As we aim to be as clear as possible to all of our patients, we will happily help you to understand what it is we are doing and looking for.
But why do we need to poke your gums during a check-up? Read on for simple explanations to the stranger parts of each dental check-up.
The bright light
As you lay back in the dental chair, you may be a bit blinded by the light that our dentist in Coorparoo places above your head.
And it can seem a bit odd too; why do we need that light to check for things that can be seen in regular daylight? In short, it helps us to see and more accurately detect early signs of decay on your teeth, before a cavity forms.
Poke your gums
Our dentist in Coorparoo pokes at your gums to check for signs of gum disease.
A healthy gum will have a slight give but should spring back when poked, but a gum that is spongy or softer when our team pokes it is probably suffering from gum disease.
Scrape your teeth
You may have brushed your teeth thoroughly since your last check-up, but our team can see the plaque that you may have missed; usually towards the bottom of the teeth.
And so, we may appear to scrape your teeth randomly during your check-up, but it is to prevent plaque accumulation and stop decay.
Ask you to bite down
We ask you to do this so we can assess the position of your jaw and identify any problems with your jaw, in particular temporomandibular joint disorder.
If we detect any potential problems with the jaw joint, we will aim to create a custom-fitted mouthguard to prevent any further degeneration to the jaw bone.
Ask you to move your jaw
Similarly, we will ask you to move your jaw from side to side to listen for any clicks when you move it.
This is once again to check for the more subtle signs of temporomandibular joint disorder and to begin prevention treatments.
All treatment carries risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.