Be honest: When was the last time you saw the dentist for a routine exam or to have your teeth cleaned? Why do we need checkups and cleanings? Many people believe that with proper brushing and flossing these visits are simply unnecessary. However, these preventive visits can protect your smile from serious oral health concerns, something brushing and flossing alone cannot.
Frequently Asked Questions About Checkups and Cleanings
Question: When do I need a checkup?
Answer: You should have your teeth examined by a dentist once every six months. A checkup allows a doctor to see if there are any developing problems, treating them before they progress into serious oral health issues. We may look for the warning signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and even oral cancer.
Question: What does a cleaning involve?
Answer: This procedure involves a dentist or dental hygienists removing the layers of plaque buildup from the surface of your teeth. Plaque is the result of bacteria breaking down food particles. Over time, the buildup can help weaken enamel and inflame the gums, boosting the risk of cavities and periodontal disease. A simple cleaning twice a year can protect your smile and help your teeth stay brighter and beautiful.
Question: Does the doctor use special technology?
Answer: Yes. Instead of just relying on a manual tool to remove plaque, the doctor uses an ultrasonic scaler. This device removes hardened plaque using high-frequency vibrations, for a more thorough and precise cleaning.
Question: How do these visits benefit my smile?
Answer: A preventive visit can freshen your breath, remove plaque, and allow the doctor to look for indicators of oral health problems, discussing or administering treatment before the problems progress to later stages. Otherwise, a cavity can lead to infection and gum disease may progress into periodontitis, which can cause adult tooth loss.