National Dental Hygiene Month is the perfect time to reflect on the importance of oral hygiene and schedule a dental exam and cleaning. Too often, people put off these important preventive measures, but there are many good reasons to get your teeth cleaned and checked by a dentist. In this blog post, we will discuss what dental cleanings are and how they are performed. We will also list five reasons why it’s important to schedule an appointment for a dental cleaning and exam.
What to Expect at a Dental Appointment:
Dental appointments generally have two main parts: the exam and cleaning. During the exam, the dentist will check for any problems with your teeth, gums, and mouth. They will also ask about your medical history and any medications you are taking. They may also take dental x-rays of your mouth to evaluate the underlying bone structure or check for cavities. During your dental exam is a good time to ask the dentist any questions you have about oral hygiene or dental procedures.
The cleaning is performed next and is often done by a dental hygienist. First, they will remove any plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) from your teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth and can cause cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. Tartar is hardened plaque that has been left on the teeth for too long and can only be removed by a professional cleaning. Next, your teeth will be flossed and polished. The flossing removes any plaque that is between your teeth and below the gum line. Polishing makes your teeth shine and helps remove any surface stains.
After your cleaning, the dentist may apply a fluoride treatment to help prevent cavities. They may also discuss other ways to improve your oral hygiene, such as changes to your diet or brushing and flossing techniques.
Why You Need to Schedule Regular Dental Appointments
Now that we’ve covered what you can expect at a dental appointment, let’s discuss five reasons why you should schedule one.
To Prevent Tooth Decay and Gum Disease:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about half of all American adults have had dental caries in their permanent teeth. That’s a lot of people! Dental caries is a fancy word for tooth decay, and it’s one of the most common diseases in America. One of the most important reasons to see a dentist regularly is to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Plaque that is not removed can harden into tartar, which can lead to cavities and gum disease. Gum disease is an infection of the gums that can damage the soft tissue and bone supporting the teeth. Regular cleanings and exams give the dentist a chance to remove plaque and tartar before they cause any damage.
To Maximize Your Oral Hygiene Routine:
Another reason to see the dentist regularly is to make sure you are doing everything possible to maximize your oral hygiene routine. The dentist can check to see if you are brushing and flossing properly and offer suggestions on how to improve your technique. They can also recommend which type of toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss is best for you. All these tips can really help you make the most of your home oral hygiene routine.
To Get Screened for Oral Cancer:
Oral cancer is a serious disease that is affecting more Americans each year. The good news is that it is highly treatable when caught early. That’s why it’s so important to get screened for oral cancer during your dental appointment. The dentist will look for any signs of oral cancer, such as sores, lumps, or red or white patches in or around your mouth. If they see anything suspicious, they will recommend further testing.
To Have Potential Problems Identified Before They Cause Problems:
Another reason to see the dentist regularly is to have potential problems identified before they cause any pain or damage. For example, the dentist may notice that one of your teeth is cracked or chipped. While this may not be causing any pain or problems at the moment, it could become a bigger issue down the road. By identifying the problem early, the dentist can make a plan to fix it before it becomes a bigger issue.
To Save Money:
Finally, one of the best reasons to see the dentist regularly is to save money. Preventive care is always less expensive than treatment for a dental problem. Even minor problems are less expensive than major problems. For example, it’s much cheaper to get a cavity filled than it is to have a tooth extracted. So, by seeing the dentist regularly, you can avoid more costly dental problems down the road.
In this blog post, we discussed five reasons why you need to schedule a dental appointment. These are just a few of the reasons why you should schedule a dental appointment. Regular cleanings and exams are an important part of maintaining good oral health. So, if you haven’t been to the dentist in awhile, make an appointment today!