What Can I Expect From a Dental Checkup?
When you visit your dentist and dental hygienist for a regular checkup and hygiene visit, most of the time a complete examination of your dental health will be performed.
During this initial visit, you will be given treatment proposal. At 123 Dental, we are committed to the practice of preventative dentistry. Therefore, we wholeheartedly encourage regular check-up exams consisting of:
- Diagnostic x-ray examinations
- Tooth decay examinations
- Existing restoration examinations
- Gum disease evaluations
- Oral cancer screenings
In addition to a thorough, in-depth examination of your oral health, you will also undergo a professional dental cleaning performed by one of our experienced dental hygienists.
The dental cleaning will include:
Plaque Removal – Plaque is a sticky film that naturally forms on the teeth from eating. It is a virtual petri dish of food particles, bacteria, and saliva, all of which can inflame the gums, cause them to bleed, and lead to periodontal disease. When left untreated, periodontal disease can affect the major organs and your overall health.
Tartar/ Calculus Removal – Tartar is plaque that has hardened and built up over time. It forms both above and below the gum line, and its removal requires special dental instruments.
Teeth Polishing – Teeth polishing helps remove plaque and stains that weren’t removed during the brushing and scaling process.
What is Dental Hygiene?
If you neglect your teeth and fail to properly maintain your oral health, you can easily spend upwards of $20,000 or more in restorative care. By practicing good dental hygiene, you can avoid these exorbitant costs.
Dental hygiene places an emphasis on the importance of ongoing maintenance, preventative dental procedures, and regular daily practices to maintain good oral health and prevent gum disease and tooth decay.
In other words, effective dental hygiene combines chairside treatments with at-home oral care to keep your teeth healthy and looking their best.
Most dentists recommend patients come in for at least two dental checkups and cleanings each year. Not only does this help keep teeth clean and healthy, but it helps managing any developing conditions as well.
Adhering to this widely accepted recommendation can assist your dentist with stopping the progression of dental diseases and conditions, minimising your expenses, and protecting your smile.
What Does Dental Hygiene Do?
Dental hygiene prevents dental problems from developing. With regular visits to the dental hygienist and proper at-home care, you can avoid or minimise the occurrence of:
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Who Does Dental Hygiene Benefit?
Everyone benefits from good dental hygiene. However, children especially benefit because good dental hygiene allows their adult teeth to develop strong and healthy.
In addition to cleanings, topical fluoride treatments can be administered and dental sealants applied to help prevent tooth decay in children.
That being said, adults of all ages benefit as well. Not only does good dental hygiene promote a healthy, great looking smile, but it also helps negate the need for dentures and allows you to keep a mouthful of real teeth.
Plus, oral health affects the health of the rest of the body and can hurt or benefit a person’s overall health. Since everyone benefits from good health, it’s more than safe to say good dental hygiene benefits everyone.
What Are the Benefits?
Good dental hygiene can greatly reduce your risk of cavities, enamel loss, gingivitis, periodontitis, and other dental problems. In turn, it can also reduce the risk of other health problems related to poor oral health.
Some of the many health problems associated with poor oral health include:
- Heart disease
- Respiratory disease
If you are pregnant, you should continue practising good dental hygiene and make it a point to focus on your oral health as gum inflammation is common in pregnancy. This includes visits to the dentist during pregnancy for routine cleanings and check-ups.
Practicing good dental hygiene can also save you money. Even with good dental insurance, the costs of repairing teeth and fixing dental problems can quickly add up.
While dental hygiene may not eliminate the need for fillings, dental implants, or root canals completely, it can significantly reduce the likelihood of such costly treatments.
What Are Some Common Best Practices?
Proper dental hygiene for adults and children includes a number of at-home and in-office practices, such as:
Brushing and Flossing
The best way to promote good dental hygiene and prevent costly dental problems is to brush and floss two or more times per day. Doing so will help remove dental plaque and keep it from building up and turning into tartar, which can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
Fluoride is used by dental hygienists and in toothpastes to strengthen teeth and prevent decay. In addition to providing fluoride treatments, a dentist or dental hygienist may recommend certain toothpastes and mouthwashes for at-home use.
Regular Dental Visits
Most dental conditions are initially painless, so unless you visit the dentist regularly, you may not recognise a dental problem until significant damage occurs. For optimum oral health, you should schedule dental check-ups at least every six months. During check-ups, your dentist will also screen for oral cancer and check for any signs of abnormal oral tissue.
Like check-ups, dental cleanings are recommended every six months. By following this recommendation and having your teeth regularly cleaned, you’ll be able to remove plaque and stains unable to be removed from brushing alone.
X-rays allow dentists to check for signs of dental issues that can’t be seen with the naked eye. This includes problems beneath the gum line and cavities in between teeth, both of which are hard to spot without technological help.
Sealants are thin coatings adhered to the back molars to protect against tooth decay.
Eating a Well-Balanced Diet
A well-balanced diet is essential for proper dental hygiene and health. People with diets high in sugars and carbohydrates often suffer from increased plaque production. Meanwhile, people with calcium-poor diets are at an increased likelihood of developing gum disease and suffering from jaw deterioration.
Avoiding Smoking and Drinking
Smoking tobacco and consuming alcohol can have a negative impact on your oral health. In addition to dry mouth, smoking can cause plaque buildup, tooth discolouration, tooth loss, gum disease, and oral cancer.
Are There Different Types of Fluoride?
There are two primary forms of fluoride: topical and systemic.
The former strengthens teeth and makes them more resistant to decay. Topical fluorides can be found in toothpastes, mouthwashes, and several professionally applied fluoride treatments.
Systemic fluorides, on the other hand, are ingested into the body to become part of the actual tooth structure. Your dentist can recommend the right type of fluoride treatment for you.
Why is Fluoride Important?
Fluoride easily absorbs into tooth enamel and strengthens the structure of developed teeth, making them less prone to decay.
Fluoride also repairs teeth by adding minerals to areas in which tooth decay has begun, allowing it to actually reverse the decaying process and create resilient tooth surface.
How Do You Prepare for a Dental Checkup?
If it is the first time that you have scheduled your adult dental exam, you should know what to expect. You will most likely be checked by the dentist or, in some cases, a hygienist. The exam will help evaluate your oral hygiene and the overall health of your mouth. If there is tooth decay or risk of diseases, such as gum disease, you will know about it during the day of your checkup.
It’s crucial that you reach out to us and tell us if you’re anxious about the dental examination. Share your concerns so that your dentist can adjust your treatment to your level of comfort, if possible.
Why Does the Dentist Need to Take X-rays?
Dentists are well-versed in the health of the teeth and the surrounding tissue. However, certain diseases cannot be detected with the naked eye, so X-rays are often utilised. The examination may reveal if you have small areas of decay below the fillings, bone infections, or the existence of a periodontal disease. X-rays can also help diagnose abscesses, certain types of tumours, and developmental abnormalities.
Detecting dental health problems at an early stage can help prevent costly and lengthy treatments. Additionally, if you have hidden tumours, the X-ray exam may potentially save your life.
Do You Still Need to Visit the Dentist Even If You're Wearing Full Dentures?
Many people think that dental appointments are just for checking and repairing natural teeth. When you have dentures, especially full dentures, you no longer have natural teeth. But that does not mean you should skip any visits to the dentist.
It’s true that dentures save you from dental decay. However, you could have issues associated with the oral appliance, such as frequent mouth sores. Your dentures may start feeling loose, as well. Appointments every six or 12 months are recommended for everyone, including those who wear dentures. Regular visits help avoid complications that could happen along the road.
Should You Visit the Dentist Even if Your Teeth Feel and Look Fine?
The short answer to this question is “Yes.” Your teeth can look clean and strong on the surface, but you may not be aware that there are problems that already exist. This is why it’s important to schedule regular appointments with your dentist.
The appearance of your teeth and your oral health are essential. Your dentist can make sure that you keep your smile looking beautiful even as you grow older. Misshapen, chipped, or stained teeth can be resolved in the chair within a few hours or even less. Additionally, dentists can help prevent potential issues from fully developing, such as tooth decay and periodontal disease.
What Can You Do While Waiting for Your Next Dental Checkup?
A vital step towards good oral health is to brush twice a day and floss at least once. Don’t forget about your tongue, too! The toothpaste you use should contain fluoride. If your dentist told you to use a fluoride rinse, make sure that you do so to help prevent cavities.
As much as possible, you should avoid eating foods that are high in sugar. This sweet substance easily increases bacteria in the mouth, which can lead to plaque and cavities. If you smoke, stop now since it can cause gum disease, stained teeth, and even increases oral cancer risk. Be sure that you schedule your checkup every six months.
Can a Dentist Help with Tooth Sensitivity?
If you feel pain whenever you eat hot or cold foods, it most likely means you have sensitive teeth. You may also feel the same sensation whenever you consume anything sweet or acidic. Your teeth become sensitive when the tooth enamel gets thinner. It’s often a result of repeated exposure to extreme temperatures and sometimes acidity.
If you have receding gums, fractured teeth, or you grind your teeth while you sleep, you could be experiencing sensitivity. And that’s a condition that dentists can help you with. The treatment will depend on the source or cause of the sensitivity.
Should Children Visit the Dentist?
Just like adults, children can also develop cavities. In fact, they have an increased likelihood, especially those who love sweets and with poor dental hygiene. Children can start getting cavities as early as two years old. That is why it’s recommended that you schedule a dental appointment for your child once the first tooth erupts.
Many parents introduce their kids to the dentist after their first birthday. These early visits can help detect potential problems that may impact the child’s oral and overall health. For more information, please read this blog post.
Should I Visit My Local Dentist?
Yes. Whether it’s been six months or six years, it’s important to have your teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist at least once every six months in order to keep your teeth healthy, functional, and looking their best.
If it’s been awhile since your last teeth cleaning, contact 123 Dental to schedule a cleaning, screening, and fluoride treatment today.
Our friendly, skilled team of dentists and dental hygienists are more than happy to answer any questions you may have and help you maintain the smile you deserve!