When your dental health and smile remain intact, you may forget about scheduling routine dental appointments. Yet, regular dental check-ups can go a long way in protecting your smile and ensuring you maintain healthy teeth and gums longer. These check-ups are so beneficial that if you miss one, you could end up suffering problems sooner rather than later.
What is Considered a Dental Check-Up?
A dental check-up is a routine dental appointment where your dentist performs an exam, usually after a dental hygienist gives your teeth a professional cleaning. The recommendation is to schedule these check-ups for every six months unless you are prone to dental problems. When that is the case, your dentist may suggest you schedule them more than just twice a year.
What Occurs During a Dental Check-Up?
Your dental check-up will usually include the following:
- Questions about any issues you are currently experiencing
- A discussion about your health and if anything has changed since the last visit, including any new prescriptions
- Professional cleaning by a dental hygienist
- Explanations of ways you can improve your dental hygiene between visits
- A thorough exam of your teeth, gums, and mouth
- Recommendations for treatments, if applicable
- An oral cancer screening
- The taking of dental x-rays in some cases
Why are Regular Dental Check-Ups So Important?
Regular dental check-ups are essential for both adults and children to maintain their dental hygeine. Here are beneficial reasons why you should schedule these appointments on a regular basis.
Provide a more in-depth cleaning than you can do yourself
At each six-month check-up, you’ll undergo professional, in-depth teeth cleaning by a dental hygienist. Difficult to reach tartar and plaque will be removed, helping to decrease the risk of developing cavities, gum disease, and other dental issues.
Identify loose fillings or other dental work
Your dentist will identify any loose fillings or other dental work and make recommendations for treatment. You can then schedule additional appointments at your convenience.
Spot any dental issues early
During the dental check-up, your dentist will look for any issues that you may be unaware of since your last visit. These issues can worsen and become painful without immediate treatment. For example, a slightly cracked tooth may not be affecting you yet but be on the verge of becoming a bigger problem.
Your dentist may also notice uneven wear of your teeth and ask if you know whether you grind your teeth at night. This grinding is called bruxism and can be aided by using a customized nightguard.
Look for other potential health issues
Signs of other potential health issues often show up in the mouth, neck, and head areas. You can expect your dentist to be on the lookout for any of these signs in addition to a dental exam, including feeling for lumps in the lymph nodes.
Prevent future problems
Regularly scheduled exams and cleanings can help prevent future problems from developing in your teeth and gums. This alone will save you future discomfort, time spent on dentist appointments, and expenses. Even if you experience dental anxiety, scheduling regular check-ups can help you avoid excessive visits in the future.
Discuss your oral health and ways to maintain it
After conducting the exam, your dentist may discuss with you ways to improve your oral hygiene in order to keep problems at bay. For example, tooth decay may be building up and can lead to gum disease, so you may need to floss more and use a certain type of mouthwash.
Help ensure your child’s teeth stay healthy
Children will benefit from regular dental check-ups during those important tooth development years. Your dentist will watch for any incorrect positioning of teeth as well as overcrowding as permanent teeth come in.
Perhaps your dentist will determine the need for braces or fluoride treatments to give your child the best possible future when it comes to oral health.
Develop a baseline for your dental health
A regular dental check-up can provide a baseline for your dental health, with updates at each subsequent check-up throughout the years. This can benefit you in two important ways.
One, the dentist will have a record of changes in your mouth from year to year, making it easier to determine a potential problem early on in its development. Secondly, if you experience a problem in between check-ups, your dentist can refer back to your records without having to spend time getting to know your oral health and past issues.
Discuss cosmetic dentistry options
During your routine exam, you have the opportunity to ask about cosmetic dentistry options to improve your smile. These options include professional teeth whitening, veneers, and more. Your dentist can make recommendations that will benefit you the most.
Schedule Your Regular Dental Check-Up Today with South Dayton Smiles
Scheduling regular dental check-ups is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself when it comes to maintaining a confident smile and a healthy mouth. Our team at South Dayton Smiles is here to ensure you get the most out of each check-up and will provide recommendations whenever necessary to help you maintain your best oral health possible. Contact our Miamisburg office today to schedule your next dental check-up.