Regular dental checkups are an essential part of maintaining a healthy smile. It’s a critical part of your oral health and something we recommend to all of our patrons. Dental checkups should be completed every six months to maintain proper an optimal health.
Regular Dental Checkups
A dental checkup provides us with the opportunity to examine your oral health and monitor any changes that have occurred since your last visit. There are a variety of things a regular dental checkup could include, all of which are critical pieces to your oral health.
Our dental checkup appointments begin with a full examination to provide us a basic overview of your current dental health. We will look carefully to detect any cavities, tooth decay or signs of gum disease. We then conduct a professional cleaning that eliminates any plaque, bacteria and other buildups on the teeth. This process begins with using dental equipment to scrape away accumulations on the teeth and gum line. Then we clean and polish the teeth to address any surface stains and provide a long-lasting sensation of freshness. We also do an oral cancer check on a regular basis to ensure we catch any diseases at early as possible. We check your face, tongue, throat gums and other soft oral tissues for any signs of risk or disease.
Occasionally on visits, we will use digital X-rays to obtain a detailed view of your oral structure detect any conditions that may be hidden beneath the surface such as internal decay, periodontitis, jawbone deterioration, cysts, and oral cancer. We also conduct these efficiently, so any discomfort is minimized, and we share the images with you if it’s necessary.
Why are dental checkups important?
Many oral health concerns can only be detected through a thorough examination by a trained dentist. Dental checkups provide oral cancer screenings, digital X-rays to check for hidden issues, and professional cleanings to eliminate plaque, bacteria and other buildups that daily brushing and flossing won’t effectively eliminate.
How often should you get dental checkups?
Ideally, dental checkups are performed every six months. On your first visit to the dentist, they will ask for a full health history to gain an understanding of your past and current health. From there, regular dental checkups will be used to determine any change in your oral health and keep your teeth and mouth in good shape or maintained appropriately.
The American Dental Association, and most dentists, recommend six months because the maintenance and cleaning provided at each visit is the best way to ensure you maintain healthy teeth and gums.
What are the signs of oral cancer?
Mount cancer can occur anywhere in the mouth, including the lips, tongue and throat, as well as the salivary glands, pharynx, larynx and sinuses. Because early detection is critical to overcoming the disease, make an appointment with your doctor if any of the following occur:
- Sore, swelling, lumps or thick patches in or around your mouth
- The feeling of a lump or object in your throat
- Numbness or pain anywhere in your mouth
- Loose teeth with no dental cause
- Lingering sore throat or hoarseness
- Areas of red or white lesions in your mouth or lips
- Trouble moving your jaw, swallowing or speaking
- Pain in your ear without loss of hearing
Over half of those in the U.S. survive oral cancer after five years, according to the National Institute of Dental Craniofacial Research, but it is critical it is caught early.