Why Is It Important to See Your Dentist Every 6 Months?
Prevention is the best treatment for any kind of condition, and the same applies for your dental health. Many people tend to ignore their teeth, thinking that normal brushing and flossing will prevent every problem that threatens their oral health. While these things are essential to keep your overall dental health, they unfortunately don’t prevent every problem from happening. Your dentist has a trained eye and will be able to identify any underlying problems as they start to form. If you can start treating a problem before it gets too serious, it will be a lot more affordable for you and healthier for your teeth in the long run.
So, what does it mean to visit your dentist regularly. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends going to your dentist at least twice a year, but also recognizes that everyone’s oral health is different and may require a different schedule based on individual needs. The best thing you can do is consult with your dentist to work out a schedule personalized to your specific situation.
What Happens During Regular Checkups?
There are typically two parts to regular dental checkups: the checkup and the cleaning. Each part of the visit is just as essential as the other, and your dentist will typically walk you through each one so you know what’s going on. Feel free to ask your dentist questions during your checkup, so you understand everything that happens. It’s important that you build that relationship with your dentist during regular checkups so you can feel free to bring concerns to him or her at any time.
During the checkup portion of the appointment, your dentist will check for a variety of different things. First, he or she will look for any cavities on the surface of all of your teeth. You will also typically be X-rayed so the dentist can check for any cavities that may have been missed during the initial examination. Your dentist will also take time to check for plaque and tartar on your teeth.
Next, your dentist will inspect your gums and make sure they are looking healthy. With a special tool, your dentist will check the space between your teeth and your gums. If your teeth and gums are healthy, these spaces should be shallow. If you’re suffering from gingivitis, the spaces will become deeper.
Finally, your dentist will check your throat, tongue, head, and neck. Serious dental problems will often affect the rest of the area around your mouth and head. If your dentist sees anything wrong with these areas, he or she may want to perform a more extensive examination to see if there are underlying oral issues.
After the checkup, your dentist will begin the second portion of the appointment. The cleaning is basically a more in-depth version of the cleaning you do for your teeth on a daily basis. Your dentist will remove any tartar that he or she found during the examination with another kind of special tool. This process is called scaling. Your dentist will then polish your teeth after the scaling to help remove any surface stains left there from the tartar and plaque.
Finally, your dentist will floss your teeth for you. This is a good time to ask about proper flossing techniques, if you have any.
Your dentist may go over a lot of different things during your regular checkups. The best time to ask questions is during the checkup, of course, but if you remember something after you get home, it’s okay to call the office and follow up. Follow up is also important if your dentist was waiting for test results or X-rays to come back. Your regular checkups are meant to prevent further issues from happening, but also to comfort you knowing everything in your mouth looks okay. If you need further consultation, don’t be afraid to call your dentist at any time.