Despite the fact that regular checkups and cleanings are important, many people often postpone or skip their appointments, unaware of the damage they may be doing. Like brushing and flossing your teeth, checkups and cleanings are only effective when they’re performed consistently. To help you understand their importance, and why you should make them a priority, we answer a few common questions about dental checkups and what they can help you avoid.
Isn’t brushing my teeth enough?
When you brush and floss your teeth, the goal is to clean away all the traces of food particles and oral bacteria (plaque) that accumulate on them throughout the day. However, when you miss a spot (as we’re all bound to do), the plaque can calcify into tartar, which requires professional equipment at your dentist’s office to remove. Otherwise, the bacteria in tartar can lead to increasingly worse conditions, including tooth decay, gum disease, and more.
What does my dentist look for during a checkup?
Along with professionally cleaning your teeth, your visits also allow your dentist to thoroughly check for signs of developing issues, or an increased risk of such issues. For instance, weak areas of tooth enamel can indicate early decay, which can warn your dentist to treat the tooth before a cavity develops. Inflamed or irritated gums can signify the beginning of gingivitis, which can warn your dentist to prescribe a deep cleaning and/or periodontal treatment to avoid extensive damage to your gum tissues. Dental checkups also include regular screenings to check for lesions, bumps, ulcers, and other potential warning signs of oral cancer.
How often should I schedule checkup appointments?
Generally, you should schedule a checkup and cleaning no more than six months apart. However, in some cases, you may need to attend appointments more frequently, especially if you exhibit signs of tooth decay or gum disease. The best schedule is the one your dentist recommends to ensure your smile’s continued good health.
Learn More During Your Next Checkup
Dental checkup and cleaning appointments are important parts of a good hygiene routine, and of keeping your natural smile healthy and beautiful. To schedule a checkup or initial consultation, call Dr. Steven Huffstutler in Ft. Worth, TX, today at 817-577-1444.