Skip to main content

Why You Need a Yearly Dental Checkup

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.

The exam

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.

The cleaning

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!

You Might Also Enjoy...

How to Avoid Getting Cavities

How to Avoid Getting Cavities

You diligently schedule bi-annual dentist appointments, but you’re tired of going to the dentist and finding out you have cavities. Here’s how you can put an end to that problem by avoiding getting them in the first place!
Laser Gum Disease Treatment: What to Expect

Laser Gum Disease Treatment: What to Expect

Have you been told you have gum disease? Are you finding that you aren’t quite sure what to expect if you try this new laser treatment you’ve heard about? Read on to find out the scoop!
4 Ways to Get a Whiter, Brighter Smile

4 Ways to Get a Whiter, Brighter Smile

If you look in the mirror these days and think you need a whiter, brighter smile, there’s more than one way to accomplish that goal. Here are four ways to get an improved smile!

Here's How to Properly Floss and Brush Your Teeth

You know you need to brush and floss your teeth every day, but do you know whether you’re doing it the right way? Read on for a quick refresher on how to keep your oral health in the best condition possible.