Dental check-ups are routine examinations performed by a dentist at regular intervals, aimed at ensuring your teeth and gums are healthy. The time between check-ups can vary from three months to two years, depending on how healthy your teeth and gums are and your risk of future problems. Even if you brush and floss diligently you should see a dentist for a routine dental check up to spot any problems early, such as dental decay, gum disease or oral cancer. During the dental care visit, your dentist will check your dental health and examine your teeth. If there are any signs that you have indulged in habits that could be detrimental to your dental health, he will offer advice about any changes to lifestyle (such as stopping smoking or changing your diet), as well as oral care tips. If these habits could lead to problems in the future, he or she will explain what you might be at risk for, as well as the associated treatments and costs that might be needed. If you have tartar build up, you will be referred to the hygienist. Usually, this will take the form of a scale and polish to remove built-up plaque and tartar below the gum line. The hygienist will use several special instruments, which could include a combination of an ultrasonic device to loosen tartar or a special scraper instrument.