Regular dental checkups are one of the best investments you can make in your oral and overall health. Preventive care is less expensive than restorative care–and more convenient, too. Regular checkups let us detect problems when they’re small and inexpensive to fix. Professional cleanings protect your teeth from decay and gum disease that can impact your oral health and overall health.
Do I really need a checkup every six months?
Not everyone needs a six-month checkup, but it’s recommended as a general guideline because it’s what most people need. We will let you know if your oral health means that you need more or less frequent checkups.
Do regular checkups really help my overall health?
Yes. Good oral health is an important foundation for overall health. It can help protect many of your body’s vital systems, including your heart. A recent study showed that people who visited their dentist regularly had a 23% lower risk of stroke than those that only saw their dentist for problems.
What happens at my checkup?
At your checkup, we will perform an inspection of your teeth and gums to look for emerging problems. We may also perform x-rays to look for problems that are not visible to the eye. We may also recommend oral cancer screening. You’ll also get a professional cleaning at the same visit.
What if you detect a problem at my checkup?
The best response to oral health problems depends on what we’ve found. If we detect the beginnings of a cavity or early gum disease, we might just recommend a wait-and-see approach, usually with changes in your oral hygiene. For developed cavities, we will usually recommend a filling. For gum disease, we may recommend treatment.
Why do I need professional cleanings?
Oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth. Most of the work is done at home with regular tooth brushing and flossing. The goal is to remove oral plaque, which is soft and contains food debris and disease-causing bacteria. But if you don’t clean it all off, some of it hardens into tartar, which can be unattractive and can lead to poor oral health.
Your hygienist can safely remove the tartar, restoring the beauty and health of your smile.
How long does a cleaning take?
Cleanings can be longer or shorter depending on how well you clean your teeth at home. If you do a good job of brushing and flossing, they can take 15 minutes or less. If you don’t do a good job, or if it’s been more than six months since your last cleaning, it can take much longer.
Are brushing and flossing the only things I can do for better checkups and shorter cleanings?
No, there are actually many steps you can take to reduce your risk of cavities, reduce tartar, and reduce your risk of gum disease. Eating a tooth-healthy diet is one of the most important. Eat less sugar, avoid acidic foods and beverages (such as soda), and make sure you’re getting the minerals your teeth need. When you eat is as important as what you eat: cut down on between meal snacking, and you’ll improve your oral health.