Many people only go to the dentist when they realize there’s a problem with their teeth. Unless they’re teeth are causing them pain, they just assume everything is ok in their mouth. However, even a patient who dutifully brushes and flosses every day as recommended by the ADA and the dentists at Davis Family Dental Care in Bedford, TX — that’s brushing twice daily and flossing at least once daily, in case you weren’t sure — needs to see a dentist to keep small dental problems from becoming bigger ones.
A regular check-up with your Davis Family dentist is important because they help keep your teeth and gums healthy, rather than just treating you when things are bothering you. You should have a regular dental examination at least every 6 months or as often recommended by your Davis Family dentist.
What To Expect At A Dental Visit
There are two parts to a routine dental visit – the check up, or examination, and the cleaning. At the your check up, your Davis Family dentist will check for cavities, take X-rays to detect cavities between your teeth and check for plaque and tartar on your teeth. Plaque is a clear, sticky layer of bacteria created by sugars breaking down in our mouths bonding with other food particles.
Brushing and flossing are your first defense against plaque, however, sometimes it simply isn’t possible to remove it all yourself. If plaque is not removed, it hardens and become tartar — the first stage of tooth decay — which cannot be removed with brushing and flossing alone. If plaque and tartar build up on your teeth, they can cause oral health problems such as gum disease. Some of these diseases of the mouth can lead to systemic health problems if not treated promptly.
Your Davis Family dentist will also check your gums with a special tool to measure the depth of the spaces between your teeth and gums. When gums are healthy, the spaces are shallow but they can become deeper as your gums becoming irritated, pulling away from your teeth and providing more places for bacteria to gather and form plaque and eventually tartar.
In addition to brushing twice daily, flossing is an important step to prevent this buildup. However, gum disease is often painless and the changes can be hard to detect by an untrained eye in its’ early stages. Gum disease can eventually lead to tooth and bone loss as well as other diseases of the body and mind such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Your check-up should also include an examination of your tongue, throat, face, head, and neck for any swelling or redness which could be signs of throat or mouth cancer.
Why Are Professional Teeth Cleanings Necessary?
At your visit your teeth will also be professionally cleaned by an Davis Family dental hygienist. While brushing and flossing are crucial to help remove the plaque from your teeth, they can’t remove tartar. Your hygienist must use special tools to skillfully scrape away the tartar that has formed in the hard to reach places on your teeth, usually at the bases, just below the gumline and in between your teeth. This type of professional cleaning is called scaling.
After your teeth are scaled, your hygienist polish them to remove stains using a gritty professional grade toothpaste. Finally, your dental professional will clean between your teeth with floss.
Prevent Tooth Decay With Regular Dental Checkups
It is recommended you have a dental checkup every 6 months to keep ahead of any issues that may develop. However, if you haven’t been having regular, routine checkups and cleanings, you may need to return more frequently for cleanings and exams to help your dentist get any issues under control. Plaque is always forming on your teeth, but you can prevent it from forming tartar by brushing and flossing regularly. Here are some tips for maintaining good oral health at home.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day, using a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
- Floss daily.
- Use mouthwash to help control plaque bacteria and keep your breath fresh.
Scheduling and attending checkups with your dentist is vital to maintaining good oral health and will help you avoid potentially uncomfortable and expensive procedures. If you need a checkup, please call Davis Family Dental Care’s appointment line today at 817.382.8869 or schedule an examination online.