The Importance of Regular Check-Ups & Cleanings
Visiting your dentist for regular check-ups may not sound like the most fun thing on your to-do list, but it for sure is an important and necessary task for your well-being. Regular dental visits are key for helping you maintain healthy teeth, gums, and overall health. It is typically recommended to have a dental check-up every six months, however, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you schedule your check-ups at intervals determined by your dentist. Some individuals may be recommended to visit the dentist more frequently, such as smokers, diabetics, individuals with gum disease, immunocompromised individuals, pregnant women, and individuals who are at high risk for developing cavities.
During your check-up, your dental team will review your medical and dental history. They will perform a thorough exam, including examining your head, neck, lymph nodes, and jaws to ensure there are no abnormal pathologies. This includes checking for any signs of swelling, redness, or cancer. Inside of the mouth, your dentist will examine your gums, teeth, tongue, and throat. Your dentist will check for dental cavities (tooth decay), broken teeth, damaged fillings, gum disease, trauma, and bone loss, for instance. They will also evaluate your bite, which is necessary for speaking and chewing properly. X-rays may also be taken to ensure your teeth and jaws are healthy. If you have any oral appliances your dentist will check to make sure they are still functioning properly. Visiting with your dentist regularly can help problems be detected early and managed appropriately before they become worse.
Dental cleanings are also an important part of your dental care. Cleanings help remove dental plaque, which is formed by oral bacteria that breakdown your teeth by producing harmful acids. In addition, cleanings help remove tartar, which is a harder form of plaque that cannot be removed by regular brushing and flossing. When dental plaque and tartar are left on the teeth overtime, this can lead to tooth decay, bad breath, gum disease, and other oral issues. Cleanings can also help remove stains from teeth leaving them nice and polished. Your dental team will review proper brushing and flossing techniques with you and answer any questions or concerns regarding your oral health.
During the time in-between your regular dental check-ups, it is important to keep up with good oral hygiene practices. Toothbrushing should be performed at least twice a day, and flossing performed daily. Brushing and flossing is necessary to prevent bacteria from damaging your teeth. Adding an anti-bacterial mouthwash to your oral routine can also help you control bacterial plaque from building up, in addition to keeping your breath fresh. This can save you a lot of money and extra trips to the dentist for additional procedures. Plus, you should monitor your diet by avoiding foods and beverages high in sugar, which contribute to tooth decay. Eating a nutritious and well-balanced meal is not only helpful for your overall health but also for your teeth.
Since the mouth is a window to the rest of the body, it is crucial to keep your oral health in check to help maintain your overall health.