How often do you go to the dentist? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should visit your dentist at least once per year, even if you have dentures or no natural teeth. Visiting your dentist even more frequently, or about every six months, allows for the early detection of tooth decay and other oral health issues.
Regular dental visits are essential to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Learn what happens during a routine dental visit and why regular dental visits are so important.
What Happens During a Routine Dental Visit?
While each dental practice is a little different, most local dentists follow the same basic procedures during a routine visit. When you arrive, you may be asked to complete a patient questionnaire that helps your dentist learn more about your oral health history.
Our team starts your dental check-up with a standard teeth cleaning. Using various instruments and tools, plaque and tartar are scraped from your teeth and along the gum line. They will then polish and floss your teeth, as well as take dental x-rays in some cases.
The dentist is often the last to see your teeth. He will perform a quick check-up and examine the health of your teeth, gums, soft palate, neck, and throat for abnormalities. Any dental x-rays that were taken during the appointment are reviewed and if applicable, treatment is recommended.
Why Regular Dentist Visits Are So Important
Seeing your dentist for regular visits is important for a number of reasons, including the following:
1. Remove Plaque and Tartar Buildup
No matter how well you brush and floss, there are always going to be small nooks and crannies that you miss. Food and debris can collect in these areas and without removal, plaque can harden into tartar which can only be removed by a dental professional. With routine dental visits, you can help prevent an accumulation of harmful plaque and tartar.
2. Ward Off Gum Disease
Plaque and tartar buildup not only affects your teeth but also your gums. Over time, a buildup of bacteria in the mouth can begin to deteriorate the gums and other soft oral tissues. If gum disease is not promptly treated, it can cause inflammation and ultimately an infection that can spread to other parts of the body. Advanced periodontal or disease can cause teeth to loosen and possibly fall out.
3. Detect Oral Cancer Early
Oral cancer consists of cancers of the mouth and the back of the throat. Cancer in the mouth can develop on the gums, the tissues that line the mouth, or the tissues in the throat. As oral cancer can spread quickly, it is important to have it diagnosed early. Oral cancer exams are painless and take just a few minutes to complete.
4. Identify Problems Not Visible to the Eye
Oral health problems, such as tooth decay, cannot always be seen by the naked eye. When you go to your dentist for regular visits, they take the time to get detailed x-rays of your mouth and teeth. These x-rays can tell your dentist if you have tooth decay, impacted teeth, or other oral health problems. Dental x-rays can also help dentists identify other problems, such as cysts, abnormal swelling, or tumors.
5. Receive Oral Health Education
It’s normal to have questions about your oral health, especially when dealing with problems like tooth sensitivity, discoloration, and bad breath. Your dentist can help answer these questions and provide guidance on how best to deal with them in a safe and effective manner.
Contact Our Office
Skipping dentist appointments may not seem like a big deal. But this can have repercussions in the long term. Oral health problems like tooth decay and gum disease can progress quickly and require prompt action by a dental professional to treat the underlying problem and recover lost enamel. To learn more about why regular dental visits are so important or to schedule your next appointment, contact the friendly team at Hancock Village Dental.