From the time we are all young children, it’s stressed how important oral hygiene is for us. We learn to brush and floss after every meal to ensure we keep our teeth in good condition. In addition to what we can do at home, it’s also equally important to see a dentist regularly. The American Dental Association recommends that we see our dentist every six months for optimum health.
On visiting the dentist for regular checkups, there are several items they will be checking for. The first is examining the teeth for tooth decay. This can be small cavities or larger spots of decay that may end up needing more advanced restoration, such as a root canal treatment. The decay, if any, will be assessed and treatment options will be planned out between the dentist and patient.
Along with this, the dentist will make a thorough examination of the gums to check for gum health. Plaque and tartar can build up on the teeth and cause gum diseases such as gingivitis or something similar. Without treatment, gingivitis can turn into periodontitis, a far more dangerous form of gum disease. Periodontitis will not only cause bad breath, bleeding gums and tooth loss, but will eat away the bones in your jaw. Once it has progressed to this stage, treatment will be more intense and less will be able to be corrected in some cases.
A surprisingly high 75% of people will face some degree of gum disease in their lifetime. The good news is that with good dental care, gum disease can be treated and even prevented. This is important as gum disease actually raises a person’s risk for certain forms of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Numerous studies have concluded that oral hygiene has a direct connection to your overall health.
The dentist will perform a brief examination of your face, neck, lymph nodes and jaw joints. Any irregularities found here could be a sign of a bigger condition that will require additional testing. In conjunction with this, the dentist will take x-rays, to ensure there are no issues that are not visible to the naked eyes as well as to help keep track of the health of tooth roots and the bones of the jaw. Any changes can be tracked this way which will help prevent any issues from getting worse or stop a developing condition before it develops.
Finally, a general cleaning will be done. This removes plaque and tartar that is not able to be removed via normal home oral care by using special dental tools. This process is called scaling and reaches areas that are hard to reach during standard teeth brushing and flossing at home. After this, they place a paste on the teeth that seals and polishes them.
Tips for good dental health are absolutely necessary: