Many people underestimate the importance of regular dental checkups and cleanings. Among all the personal errands and obligations we have to remember, a dentist appointment is probably going to be low on our priority list. However, it is crucial to understand that routine dental care is a key component of maintaining optimal oral health. While the specific interval may vary depending on individual needs, most dentists recommend scheduling a checkup and cleaning every six months. By adhering to a consistent schedule of dental visits, individuals can proactively protect their teeth, gums and overall oral well-being, ensuring a healthy smile that lasts a lifetime.
What Happens During a Dental Checkup and Clean?
You may find the thought of dentist appointments a bit anxiety-inducing, even if they are just to complete a standard checkup and clean. Learning about the processes involved, however, can help you to prepare yourself for the experience. Dental checkups and cleans are pretty straightforward, and will generally be very efficient and minimally invasive.
The first part of your checkup will be the medical examination. Your dentist will need to understand the current state of your teeth, so they’ll begin by viewing your medical history. They will then examine your mouth, checking for plaque, tartar and cavities. This step might involve using an X-ray. If your teeth are in the clear, your dentist will check the structure of your mouth, such as the gums, to check for any diseases. The final part of the examination is to check that you are not susceptible to any signs of cancer. This is conducted by examining your tongue, head and jaw.
If there are no major anomalies or concerns discovered during the examination, your dentist will proceed with the cleaning process, known as scaling. Scaling is done with special equipment, typically ultrasonic scalers, which provide a deep clean within the gum line. Once your dentist has cleaned your teeth, they will start polishing them, clearing their surface of any stains or plaque. They will usually do this using a fluoride paste. After the polish, you will be given some liquid to flush and rinse out any debris left on the surface of your teeth.
Why Should You Book an Appointment Every 6 Months?
Dentists recommend that you should book in for a dental checkup and clean every six months in order to maintain sufficient oral health. However, the frequency of your visits will also depend on your individual needs. We recommend following the advice of your dentist to ensure you’re visiting at an appropriate frequency.
Early Detection of Dental Issues
Regular dental checkups allow dentists to identify potential problems early on, such as cavities, gum disease, oral infections or oral cancer. Early detection enables prompt treatment, preventing the progression of these issues and reducing the need for more extensive and costly procedures in the future.
Prevention of Tooth Decay and Gum Disease
During a professional dental cleaning, a dental hygienist or dentist can reach and thoroughly clean areas that you may miss from brushing and flossing alone. Your dental hygienist or dentist will remove tartar (hardened plaque) and polish the teeth, giving you a cleaner and brighter smile. This practice also significantly reduces the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Additionally, dentists can provide guidance on proper brushing and flossing techniques so that you can maintain oral hygiene at home.
Maintain Overall Health
Oral health is interconnected with overall health. Poor oral hygiene has been linked to various systemic conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, respiratory problems and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Regular dental checkups can help detect early signs of such conditions and prompt appropriate referrals or treatment.
Personalised Treatment Plans
Dental checkups allow dentists to develop personalised treatment plans based on the specific needs of each patient. Whether it involves fillings, dental restorations, orthodontic treatment, or other procedures, regular checkups ensure that any necessary treatments are addressed in a timely manner.
Book an Appointment Today
If you’re due for a checkup and clean, make an appointment with your local dentist. Even if you’re not yet due, it might be a good idea to make a booking in advance, so you don’t forget to complete your checkup when necessary. Once you get into a routine with your dentist, you’ll find it easier to stay on top of your oral health. With your oral well-being well attended to, you can focus on living a healthy and pain-free life!