Why Dental Checkups Are Essential

Why Dental Checkups Are Essential

The American Dental Association recommends that children and adults schedule a dental checkup and preventive cleaning two times each year. Children should come in for regular appointments once they have a full set of primary teeth, and parents can bring infants and toddlers in for the occasional appointment to get them accustomed to visiting the dentist.

Regular preventive care from the dentist is vital to ensure that teeth and gums remain healthy. These appointments give the dentists at Ideal Dental the opportunity to detect and treat oral health problems as early as possible.

The Typical Dental Checkup Has Two Parts

The term oral prophylaxis simply means dental cleaning. A dental hygienist uses a special instrument to remove plaque from your teeth. The scraping may be slightly uncomfortable but is essential to prevent potential tooth decay. Next, the hygienist polishes and flosses your teeth. The polish is professional-grade and will feel grittier than your normal toothpaste.

Hygienists note any problems they see while cleaning your teeth, such as inflamed gums or excessive plaque and tartar. They provide this information to the dentist before the second part of your exam begins.

When your hygienist finishes the first part of the exam, your dentist enters the exam room to inspect your teeth and gums. We use a special dental tool to measure the space between your teeth and gums. If you have gum disease, your gums will form small pockets with deeper spaces between your teeth than normal. You can also expect your dentist to look for signs of tooth decay.

The examination continues with the dentist checking your head, neck, tongue, throat, and face for signs of swelling or redness that could indicate the presence of a disease. Dentists have received in-depth training on how to spot the signs of oral cancer and play a critical role in detecting it early.

If your dentist spots any problems such as tooth decay or a cracked tooth, you will need to schedule an appointment for follow-up treatment. Otherwise, you will not need to return to Ideal Dental until your next preventive care exam in six months.

How to Care for Your Oral Health at Home Between Visits

Although bi-annual dental checkups are important, the things you do at home every day have a much bigger impact on your long-term oral health. We recommend that you brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day. You may also want to consider using mouthwash each time you brush your teeth to help control plaque that turns into bacteria. Plaque forms on your teeth every day, and regular brushing, flossing, and mouthwash use are your best defenses to make the plaque more manageable. Your diet can play a significant role in your oral health.

Schedule an Appointment

If you or your child have not seen the dentist in more than six months, find your local Ideal Dental office today to schedule a visit with our dentists. We look forward to helping you have healthy teeth and gums for a lifetime.