Although dental checkups may seem like just another chore to cross off of your to-do list, this routine care is essential to protecting your oral health. Here are five important considerations about your appointments for exams and cleanings.
- You do need to get an exam and cleaning every six months. When a dentist monitors a patient at such brief intervals, there’s a greater chance that any oral diseases will be diagnosed and treated early before they can do much damage.
- Professional teeth cleanings (prophylaxis) help to clear away any plaque and tartar that linger after daily brushing and flossing. Some patients think that if they are diligent about their oral hygiene regimen at home, they don’t have to worry about going to the dentist for cleanings. That is a misguided notion, though, as plaque and tartar can still cling to your teeth even after brushing and flossing, especially in areas where it’s hard for you to get a good angle with your toothbrush. The hygienist can use specialized instruments to clean all areas of your mouth thoroughly.
- Checkups and cleanings shouldn’t be painful. Some people are afraid that any trip to our office is going to end with an uncomfortable intervention, but your routine semi-annual appointments will involve minimal, if any, discomfort. If you have anxiety about your treatments, be sure to notify the provider so that he or she can know to use extra-gentle technique.
- Annual x-rays help your dentist identify cavities that might not be visible to the naked eye, as well as any potential problems with impacted teeth or your jawbone’s structure.
- Dental exams can be life-saving. Your mouth will be thoroughly examined for any signs of oral cancer, such as red or white patches or sores that are not healing properly. When oral cancer is diagnosed early before it can spread elsewhere in the body, patients have a very good prognosis. Unfortunately, though, when it isn’t detected before it metastasizes, the outlook is much poorer.
If you have any questions or concerns about your routine oral health care, we encourage you to call any of our convenient locations and speak to one of our well-informed staff members. We don’t want you to put off getting your issues addressed out of any misconceptions.