When it comes to dental care, the most important thing is preventive care. That’s why it is recommended that adults visit the dentist twice a year for regular dental checkups and cleanings. During these visits, your dentist will be able to identify any potential problems early on so that they can be treated promptly before they become serious.
Why Going To The Dentist is Important
Going to the dentist is important for maintaining a healthy mouth. Regular visits allow dentists to detect and treat any problems before they become serious. These problems can include cavities, periodontal disease, and even oral cancer. Catching these issues early can save you from unnecessary pain, expensive dental treatments, and long-term damage to your teeth and gums.
1. Removal of Plaque and Tartar Buildup
During your twice-yearly dental visits, your dentist will thoroughly clean your teeth to remove any plaque or tartar buildup. Plaque is a thin, sticky film that accumulates on the tooth surface and can cause cavities and gum disease. Tartar is hardened plaque that has calcified onto the teeth. Both types of buildup can irritate the gums and cause inflammation, making them more susceptible to disease.
2. Prevention of Cavities and Tooth Decay
Your dentist can check for signs of early decay and provide treatments to stop it in its tracks. They can provide sealants and fluoride treatments which can help protect your teeth from decay and oral cavities.
3. Early Detection of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums and surrounding tissues that can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Regular checkups allow your dentist to identify periodontal disease in its earliest stages, so it can be treated before it becomes a more serious problem.
4. Detection of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer screenings are an important part of every dental visit. Early detection is key to successful treatment, so asking your dentist to check for signs of cancer during your regular dentist appointments can help ensure that any potential problems are caught quickly.
How Often Should You Visit The Dentist?
The amount of time between dental check-ups varies depending on individual needs. Generally speaking, it is recommended that adults and children visit the dentist twice a year for routine cleanings and exams. This allows the dentist to check for any signs of decay or gum disease that may have developed since the last visit. X-rays may also be taken during these visits to help detect any unseen dental disease that may require further treatment.
For those with existing oral health issues such as cavities or gum disease, more frequent visits may be necessary in order to ensure proper treatment and monitor progress. Individuals who smoke or drink alcohol in excess can also benefit from seeing their dentist more often as well due to an increased risk of developing oral health complications such as mouth cancer or periodontal disease. Pregnant women, diabetics, and those undergoing chemotherapy should also talk to their dentist about increasing the frequency of their visits.
Signs That Signal It’s Time for a Checkup
Although it is recommended that adults visit the dentist twice a year for routine checkups and cleanings, sometimes additional visits are necessary. The following signs may signal it’s time to schedule a dental appointment:
- Bad breath that won’t go away: Bad breath is often caused by a buildup of bacteria in the mouth. If brushing and flossing do not improve the odor, it is a good idea to visit your dentist to determine the cause and get it treated.
- Tooth sensitivity: Sensitivity to hot and cold foods or drinks may indicate a cavity or exposed root, both of which should be checked out by a dentist.
- Swollen gums and bleeding while brushing: Swollen and bleeding gums can be a sign of infection or gum disease. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to get to the dentist as soon as possible for treatment.
- Visible changes in the teeth or gums: If your teeth or gums appear different than usual, it is important to visit the dentist for an evaluation. This can include changes in color, shape, texture, or any other abnormalities.
- Persistent tooth pain: Toothaches may be something as simple as a cavity that can be treated quickly, or it could indicate a more serious issue such as an abscess or infection that requires immediate attention. Regardless of the cause, it is important to get to the dentist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
What Happens During a Dental Visit?
1. Visual Examination
During a dental visit, the dentist will perform an oral exam of your teeth and gums. This involves looking at the overall condition of your mouth and checking for any signs of cavities, gum disease, or other oral health problems. The dentist also looks for any discoloration or changes in the shape of your teeth.
X-rays are an important part of any dental visit, as they allow the dentist to detect any problems that may not be visible during a visual examination. X-rays can help detect cavities, infections, abscesses, and other potential issues that may require further treatment.
3. Professional Cleaning
This helps to prevent cavities and gum disease by removing bacteria that can lead to decay. The dentist may also use special tools to floss between the teeth and remove any food particles that may be stuck in between them.
4. Fluoride Treatment
This topical application of fluoride helps to strengthen the enamel on your teeth, reducing the risk of cavities and decay. It is usually done by swabbing the teeth with fluoride gel or foam for one minute before rinsing. Fluoride treatments are typically recommended for children and adults who have an increased risk of cavities.
Your dentist will also educate you on how to practice good oral hygiene habits and provide tips for preventing gum disease, cavities, and other dental issues.
Visit Greenville Family Dentistry For Your Dental Care Needs
Your dental health is important to us, and our team of experienced dentists can help you achieve optimal oral health. We offer a variety of services including routine checkups and dental cleanings, and restorative procedures to help you maintain a healthy, beautiful smile. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!