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How Often Should I Visit the Dentist & Why

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Dental appointments are essential for maintaining good oral health. You shouldn’t wait until you’re sick and in pain; you should include regular dental check-ups on a regular basis as part of your overall wellness plan. If you don’t see your dentist often enough, you can end up with serious problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, and even oral cancer.

How Often Should You Visit the Dentist?

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), adults and children should see their dentists every six months. Regular dental check-ups allow us to identify dental issues early and prevent them from worsening.

However, it’s important to remember that everyone has different needs. Some people only need to visit the dentist once or twice a year, while others, such as the high-risk groups, might require more frequent dental visits.

  • Pregnant women: Pregnancy causes changes in your body that affect your mouth. These include an increased risk of tooth decay, gingivitis, and gum recession.
  • Cancer patients: Cancer medication can cause dry mouth, which puts cancer patients at greater risk for cavities and other dental health problems.
  • Diabetics: Diabetes affects your blood sugar levels. Poorly controlled diabetes can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
  • Smokers: Smoking increases your risk of developing gum disease and other oral health issues. Smoking also increases your risk of developing oral cancer.
  • People with periodontal disease: Periodontal disease is caused by bacterial plaque buildup around your teeth. This leads to inflammation and, eventually, bone loss.

A regular visit to the dentist will help you detect any potential problems before they become too severe. By visiting your dentist regularly, you’ll not only keep your mouth healthy, but you’ll also avoid costly dental treatments down the road.

Why Going to the Dentist is Important

The American Academy of Periodontology says that going to the dentist is one of the most effective ways to protect your teeth and gums. Here are some reasons why:

Oral Cancer Detection

Oral cancer is usually detected during routine dental exams. If caught early, oral cancer can be highly treatable. However, if left untreated, this oral disease can spread quickly and become life-threatening.

Prevent Cavity Formation

Regular dental cleanings remove bacteria and food particles that could otherwise form harmful acids. The acid produced by this process erodes tooth enamel, causing oral cavities.

Assessment of Gum Health

Gum health is assessed through visual inspection, probing, and x-rays. A regular oral exam allows us to determine whether there are any signs of gum disease, such as bleeding gums, redness, swelling, or pus.

Education on Proper Oral Hygiene

Dentists educate patients about proper hygiene practices, including brushing and flossing. They also provide information on properly caring for your teeth and gums so that you can maintain optimal oral health.

What Will Happen During Your Dental Check-Up?

During your appointment with us, we will thoroughly examine your mouth, teeth, and gums. We will assess your oral health, examine your bite, and ask questions about your lifestyle habits. Depending on your specific needs, you may receive a cleaning, scaling, polishing, fluoride treatment, or other procedures.

  • Dental cleaning: Professional dental cleaning removes debris between your teeth and gums using special dental tools. It helps prevent further damage to your teeth and gums by eliminating bacteria and tartar buildup.
  • Scaling: Scaling involves scraping hardened deposits (calculus) from beneath your gums. Calculus prevents proper circulation of oxygen and nutrients to your teeth and gingiva, which can result in tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss.
  • Polishing: Polishing smooths out rough spots on your teeth and gums to make them look brighter and more attractive.
  • Fluoride Treatment: Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and reduces the incidence of tooth decay.
  • X-Rays: This procedure allows us to see inside your mouth without opening it up. We use these images to diagnose tooth decay, gum disease, impacted wisdom teeth, and jawbone abnormalities.

Get a Healthy, Radiant Smile with Discovery Dental Shelby

Our dental team of highly trained professionals at Discovery Dental Shelby provides comprehensive dental care services designed to meet all your dental needs. We ensure that every patient receives personalized attention and exceptional service. To schedule an appointment, call us today!

We look forward to meeting you and helping you achieve a beautiful, healthy mouth.