The Importance of Regular Dental Exams and Cleanings
Years ago, most people didn’t even think about going to the dentist until after they were already experiencing problems. Dentists worried more about fixing problems instead of preventing them. Finally, health and dental organizations began to set standards for regular dental exams and cleanings as a method of preventing issues from ever occurring. The suggested frequency of regular checkups and cleanings is twice a year. This works well for most people, but for some fewer works well. Others need more visits to ensure good oral health.
Who needs more frequent dental checkups?
For the average person two visits a year work well. Those who are not at a high risk of developing gum disease or cavities can get by with fewer visits. But people who are in the high risk category may need to see the dentist at least twice a year and in some cases, even more. Those in the high risk group might need to see the dentist every three or four months to prevent or treat dental problems. The high risk group might include:
- People who already have gum disease
- People with weak immune systems
- People who have a lot of plaque buildup or cavities
- People who smoke
- Women who are pregnant
- People with chronic conditions, specifically diabetics
It’s also important to note that over a person’s lifetime, their need for preventive dental exams may change. They may need to be more frequent when a person experiences increased stress, or an illness. Regular exams and cleanings can help fight off infections or deal with changes that occur in the mouth.
What will a dental exam be like?
It might feel odd going to the dentist for the first time when nothing is wrong. But prevention is important when it comes to your oral health. When you first visit the dentist they will ask for your complete health history. On future visits it’s important to tell the dentist if anything has changed in your health status. Here are the basic procedures that happen on a typical visit to the Markham dentist:
- Teeth Cleaning – Either the dentist or a dental hygienist will clean your teeth to remove plaque and tartar from our teeth. This helps prevent gum disease, bad breath, cavities and other oral problems. After they are cleaned, they will floss your teeth and polish them.
- Dental Exam – The dentist will do a complete and thorough exam of your mouth, teeth and gums. They will look for cavities, signs of gum disease and any other troublesome areas.
- X-rays – The dentist will also make sure to get an x-ray of your mouth. This can be useful for diagnosing diseases or problems that are sometimes unnoticed by a regular exam. An x-ray can reveal problems with the jaws, unseen abscesses, tumors, cysts or decay that are hidden from the naked eye.
These are the main things a dentist will do on each visit. Of course if there are any problems that surface, they will treat those as well. They may also suggest ways to keep your teeth healthy in between visits.