The Importance of Getting Regular Dental Check-Ups
By : Dr. Anthony Eng, D.D.S.
Few people look forward to dental visits, no matter how much they like their dentist! That’s no reason to skip keeping those bi-annual appointments, however, which are as essential for maintaining healthy gums and teeth as a daily oral hygiene routine is. Make it a point to have regular dental check-ups as often as your dentist recommends them. You’ll spare yourself pain, suffering and additional cost over the long term by doing so!
How Often You Should Go for a Dental Check-Up
The Canadian Dental Association advocates six-monthly visits for check-ups, although your dentist might recommend you come more (or less) often, depending on your individual needs. If you brush your teeth twice a day, floss at least once, follow a well-balanced diet, and limit your quantities of sugary drinks and foods, the standard frequency should be enough for you.
Dental patients with poor overall health who get problems like bleeding gums or toothache might need to see the dentist more often, until they get their dental health under control.
What Happens During a Dental Check-up
During a regular dental check-up, the dentist will check your teeth for signs of cavities , loose teeth, and plaque and tartar buildup. They might take X-rays to see if you have cavities that aren’t easily seen, and if there are any issues beneath your gums that need attention. X-rays are usually taken every couple of years. Provided you go to the same dental office for each checkup you likely won’t need them more often than that.
The examination will include checking the gums with a special dental tool, which measures how deep the spaces are between the teeth and gums. Healthy gums have shallow spaces, while deeper spaces could be a sign of gum disease.
Your appointment will usually end with a professional teeth cleaning by a dental hygienist, which includes planing and scaling of the teeth to remove accumulated plaque. This is followed by a thorough flossing and polishing, leaving your mouth feeling sparkling clean and healthy.
Benefits of Regular Dental Examinations
Apart from the obvious benefits of detecting cavities and infections early, during a regular dental check-up your dentist has the opportunity to take note of any changes to your oral cavity, your head and your neck. All of these can be early signs of jaw or bite problems, or oral cancer.
Science has proved there’s a strong link between oral health and overall health, and especially between gum disease and heart disease. Getting your mouth inspected and your teeth cleaned every six months can go a long way towards preventing other health problems before they start. You can also arrange future appointments to have tooth fillings, extractions or any root canal procedures you might need.
Preventing tooth decay is critical, because if it’s left untreated it can lead to periodontal disease, hypertension, diabetes, kidney failure, stroke, and other medical conditions that might only be detected when you reach an advanced stage.
From a financial viewpoint, getting treatment for dental problems before they become serious can help to reduce the cost of your dentist bill. If you need extensive work done, spacing out the treatments or payments can also be helpful, and many dentists are prepared to offer payment plans for regular patients of their practice.
For more information or to start your schedule of regular dental check-ups, please contact Havenview Dental Centre.