Regular Dental Check-Ups : Why and When
Why are they Important and How Often do You Need Them?
It should come as no surprise that regular dental visits are one of the most important parts of your oral health care regimen. They help to keep your teeth clean and your gums healthy. Plus, when you see your dentist regularly, they will be able to spot problems before they get too far along, even before you can detect them yourself.
Most of us have visited our dentist many times over the course of our lives, but we might not know what they’re actually doing during the session. So what actually goes on in your regular visit? And how often should you take time out of your schedule to visit the dentist?
Here’s a basic overview of the regular dental check-up, courtesy of The Bondi Dentists:
First of all, what exactly happens when you’re in the chair?
Unless you have a dental procedure scheduled, like a bit of restorative or cosmetic dentistry, the basic dental visit has two parts. The first is the examination, where your dentist will inspect your teeth and gums, looking for any signs of weakening enamel, gums receding, developing cavities, or other issues. This can help to catch problems before they occur. Your dentist can then recommend changes to your oral health regimen to combat these problems.
First the teeth are inspected for plaque and tartar. Plaque is a sticky, clear layer of bacteria that forms on the teeth between brushing. If it is left for some time, it hardens and becomes tartar. Brushing and flossing alone alone will not remove tartar, and if it is allowed to build up, it can contribute to oral diseases.
After inspecting your teeth, the dentist then turns their attention to your gums. They will use a special tool to measure the depth between the teeth and gums. When your gums are healthy, the spaces between teeth and gums are relatively shallow. Deeper spaces can be a sign of gum disease.
The last part of the check-up is an examination of your throat, tongue, neck, head, and face. Redness or swelling in these areas can be an early sign of cancer or other diseases, so it’s important to have these areas examined regularly by a medical professional.
The second part of the regular visit is tooth cleaning and oral prophylaxis. Your dentist will clean the teeth thoroughly, helping to eliminate plaque in hard to reach spots and areas that you’ve missed with your regular brushing and flossing. In addition, they will use tools specially designed for scaling, a process that eliminates tartar without damaging your teeth or wearing away the enamel. They will polish your teeth with a gritty paste to remove surface stains, and then follow up with a professional flossing to make sure the spaces between the teeth are thoroughly cleaned.
If your teeth and gums are healthy, then you will likely need a examination every six months. But check with your dental professional, as they may recommend more frequent visits. Even with regular dental visits, plaque can form on your teeth quickly. However, you can combat plaque and tartar with a regular schedule of brushing and flossing.
Here’s a basic checklist to keep your teeth and gums healthy between visits:
Brush twice daily. Remember to use a soft bristled brush and massage the teeth and gums instead of scrubbing. Also make sure to use a toothpaste that includes fluoride.
Floss once daily, making sure to clean both sides of each gap , especially close to the gum line.
Make sure to use a mouthwash at least once a day. This will help to combat the bacteria that create plaque and keep your breath fresh.
- Be sure to take care of your teeth and gums between regular dental visits. Plaque is always forming on your teeth, but you can manage it by brushing and flossing regularly. Here are some tips for good oral care at home.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Be sure to use a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
- Floss daily.
- Use a mouthwash to help control plaque bacteria. This will also help to keep your breath fresh.
If you’d like to know more about how to keep your teeth and gums healthy, check out our blog at The Bondi Dentists website. We’ll give you loads of tips about proper brushing, home tooth whitening, the best diet and eating habits for healthy teeth, and loads of other information that help you to have a healthy mouth and a bright smile.
At The Bondi Dentists, we’re dedicated to helping you bring forth your best smile. If you want to know more, or if it’s time to schedule your regular visit, feel free to contact us.