Before you know it, that time of year has rolled around again and you get the call: your dentist is expecting you in the office in just a few days.
You might outwardly groan, but deep inside you know a regular dental checkup is a good thing.
At Portrait Dental in Katy, Texas, Dr. Minh Nguyen makes these regular checkups a priority. We see the benefits of them every day, so we’d like to share why they are important.
A regular dental checkup includes two basic parts: an examination to make sure your overall oral health is good and a cleaning to keep your teeth and gums in good shape.
At your visit, a dental hygienist conducts an exam of your mouth to look for signs of gum disease, tooth decay, and other potential concerns, including oral cancer. They’ll usually take an X-ray to look for any cavities as well.
There’s no reason to assume anything is wrong, but it’s a great idea to check just in case. If you are getting regular checkups and your dentist does find an issue, it’s likely they caught it before it got too bad.
If you wait years between your checkups, you could develop a serious problem so it’s best to maintain a regular schedule.
Once your exam is finished, the hygienist begins removing plaque (a clear, sticky layer of bacteria) and tartar from your teeth with a tool called a scaler. You may hear a scraping sound during this process, but you don’t need to worry. The greater the buildup of tartar, the longer this cleaning process takes.
Once this is done, your teeth are polished with a gritty toothpaste to remove any surface stains from your teeth. The hygienist then does an expert flossing to remove any food particles or plaque from between your teeth.
Finally, Dr. Nguyen does an exam to ensure everything looks good before you go on your way.
What should you do between checkups?
Your regular checkups will go much better if you practice good oral hygiene between visits. This includes vigorously brushing your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and using mouthwash to help control bacteria and keep your breath fresh.
Don’t neglect to schedule your next dental checkup. If you miss it, small problems could become big problems, leading to gum recession and tooth loss. Gum disease is even linked to more chronic health problems, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
The lesson is clear — go to your regular dental checkups. To schedule a visit, contact us by phone or use our convenient online scheduler to make your appointment today. We’re here to keep your mouth healthy!