It’s common knowledge that dental checkups and cleanings are important, but just how important are they? After all, if you brush and floss consistently, you should be able to control plaque and stop it from becoming tartar, right? Though that’s partially true, plaque can hide in places that your toothbrush and floss cannot reach, quickly becoming tartar and remaining there until your next dental cleaning. Still, your visits are about more than just cleaning your teeth; they also allow your dentist to spot signs issues that could grow worse if not addressed immediately.
Why brush and floss if I still have to attend a dental cleaning?
The fact that you still have to attend your dental checkups and cleanings shouldn’t deter you from brushing and flossing every day. The routine is still necessary to control plaque on a daily basis, and keep your teeth clean enough until your next scheduled appointment. Otherwise, plaque and tartar, which house hundreds of kinds of oral bacteria, can overwhelm your teeth and lead to cavities, gingivitis, and more.
What signs do you look for during a checkup?
During a checkup, your dentist can check the enamel around your teeth for erosion, which is a precursor to cavities that you wouldn’t notice on your own. Other signs we look for during a checkup include;
- Redness or recession of gums, which could indicate gingivitis
- Bite misalignment, which could require orthodontic treatment (or Fastbraces)
- Excessive tooth wear, which could indicate bruxism (destructive teeth grinding)
- The state of your existing dental work, in case any of it needs to be replaced
- Tissue abnormalities, like ulcers and lesions, that could indicate oral cancer
- And more
How often should I schedule appointments?
For most patients, six months is an acceptable amount of time to wait between visits. However, if your teeth are at high-risk for developing cavities, or if your checkup reveals the presence of gingivitis, then you may need to attend more frequent visits until the issues is under control.