Why are regular trips to the dentist important? This is one of those health and wellness questions that we ask ourselves and others every so often. If you don’t feel pain or are not experiencing any dental-related symptoms, is it really necessary to pay your dentist a visit? The answer is YES.
Regular visits to a dental expert are crucial to ensure optimal teeth and gum health. Ideally, we should schedule a dental visit every 6 months or twice a year.
What happens in a routine dental checkup?
A dental visit is made up of two parts:
- general checkup
Your dentist will inspect your oral cavity and check for usual conditions that plague the teeth and gums. For one, they will check the presence of cavities and tartar. In essence, plaque is a clear and sticky layer of bacteria that gets trapped on top of the teeth. When left for many years, plaque then turn into tartar- a hardened layer of bacteria that can destroy the teeth and gums. Tartar is hard to remove and cannot be eliminated simply with the use of a toothbrush or floss. Plaque and tartar buildup can result in oral diseases.
The gums are then inspected after checking the teeth. Dentists use a special tool to check and measure the spaces between the teeth and gums. Healthy gums do not have spaces and are shallow in appearance. People suffering from gum disease have deeper spaces between their gums and teeth.
Other parts of the oral cavity will be inspected too such as the throat, the neck, the face, the tongue, and the face. This measure is done to make sure that no signs or symptoms are left out or missed which may be indicative of infection, swelling, or cancer.
Plaque can be easily removed from the teeth with brushing and flossing. However, tartar cannot be easily removed using these procedures. This is where dental cleaning comes in. A dental professional uses specialized tools to remove hardened tartar. This procedure is called scaling.
Once the dentist has finished scaling, your teeth will then be polished. A gritty paste solution is used to buff and polish the teeth’s surface. It not only polishes, but the paste also removes unwanted staining from the teeth.
The final step in the cleaning process is flossing. The dentist will then use floss to ensure no plaque or tartar is left in between the teeth gaps.
Dental care tips in between dental visits
In between regular dental visits, you need to take care of your teeth and gums. Apart from brushing and flossing, make sure to inspect your teeth once in a while for problems.
- Ideally, the teeth should be brushed twice daily. Only use toothpaste that contains fluoride protection.
- Make sure to use floss at least once a day.
- Make it a habit to use a mouth rinse after toothbrushing and flossing to get rid of unseen but potentially dangerous bacteria. Rinsing with a mouthwash also freshens the breath.