Your annual six-month checkup seems to come around quickly, especially when seeing the dentist may not be your favorite thing to do. But why exactly is it necessary and beneficial for your dental health to go to your dentist routinely?
There are two reasons why seeing your dentist every six months is so important:
1. To get your teeth properly cleaned to prevent the buildup of plaque, tartar, and bacteria that could cause gum disease
2. For the dentist to do a dental exam to make sure your teeth remain in good condition.
Your mouth and teeth are not just for eating and speaking. The health of your teeth and gums can be indicators of other health conditions going on within your body. The benefits of regularly seeing your dentist for checkups and cleanings will not only benefit your oral health, but it will improve the overall health as well.
Properly getting your teeth cleaned is different than brushing your teeth at home. When you get your teeth cleaned at the dentist, all the surfaces of each tooth and around the gums are cleaned thoroughly. Without regular cleanings, tartar can start building up around your teeth and lead to gum disease. Tartar contains harmful bacteria that causes inflammation and bone loss around teeth. Special instruments are used to remove tartar because it cannot be brushed off with the toothbrush.
Depending on your oral condition and what type of dental cleaning you need, your dentist will advise you to either come in every 3, 4, or 6 months to get your teeth properly cleaned.
During your dental exam, the dentist will evaluate your mouth by checking each tooth, your gums, and surrounding structures. X-rays and other images will be taken to get an accurate picture of your current state of oral health. Every tooth is evaluated for decay, infection, and other possible conditions. And your gums will be examined for areas of inflammation and recession.
Besides the teeth and gums, your dentist will also check the lymph nodes and glands of the head and neck region during the oral cancer screening. Areas where the lymph nodes and glands lie will be gently massaged in order to evaluate their size and symmetry.
At Sloan Creek Dental, we offer digital x-ray and cone beam computerized tomography (CBCT) technology for more accuracy. These images provide information on areas of decay, infection, and pathology that can’t been seen with the naked eye.
Seeing your dentist at least every six months helps to monitor your teeth and detect things before significant issues arise.
It may be tempting to skip a dentist appointment or two, but a lot can change even in six months. Your diet and hygiene habits can affect how easily your teeth start weakening and progress into tooth decay. When your dentist is closely monitoring, they can catch the early signs of tooth decay and correct it by promoting better hygiene. But the key is to find it early enough. If not caught in those early stages, any decay can enlarge and result in toothaches and more involved procedures such as crowns, root canals, or even extractions.
Here at Sloan Creek Dental, Dr. Feng practices preventative dentistry and strives to help her patients avoid the need for these types of treatments. But if they do become necessary, she offers her patients advanced dental care options. Sloan Creek Dental is a laser-equipped practice, which means treatments are less invasive and healing times are reduced (thanks to something called photobiomodulation).
If it has been a while since your last dental appointment, and you live in the neighboring area of Fairview, TX , we would be happy to see you at Sloan Creek Dental for your next dental checkup and cleaning.