Dental health and hygiene are vital parts of our overall physical health. We brush and floss every day to keep our teeth clean and healthy. Excellent dental hygiene can prevent plaque buildup, cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Although we dedicate a lot of time at home to taking care of our teeth, we still need regular dental checkups from a dentist. It’s best not to wait until there is an issue or pain to schedule a dentist appointment. It’s recommended that you always be proactive in your oral health journey. Dental checkups and cleanings help identify developing and ongoing issues and provide proper dental maintenance and care to prevent new issues from occurring and current issues from progressing.
It is generally recommended for adults and children to visit the dentist once every six months for an oral checkup and teeth cleaning. Your dentist may make other recommendations based on your oral health and history. Try to follow the opinion of your dentist as they will know what’s best when monitoring your oral hygiene, treating existing issues, and preventing future problems.
People who fall into certain groups may need to visit their dentist more often than others. These groups include smokers and tobacco users, as these products are known to cause gum disease and can create healing issues after an oral procedure is completed. Cancer patients are at a higher risk for dental health issues as many of the medications and treatments for cancer can cause dry mouth. A dry mouth is a problem because saliva in the mouth is a natural neutralizer for the acids produced by bacteria.
People with heart disease should be vigilant about their oral health as there have been links between poor dental hygiene and increased cardiovascular issues. Diabetes also contributes to gum disease and other dental health problems because the disease causes higher levels of sugar in the mouth, which is known to lead to tooth decay.
When you visit your dentist for a checkup, here’s an example of what you can expect. Remember, your checkup may vary from practice to practice.
Your dentist will sometimes take x-rays to help identify any cavities and tooth damage. X-rays also allow a dentist to see parts of your mouth that can’t be seen otherwise, like abscesses and bone loss, and to see if your wisdom teeth are impacted. They will use the x-rays and a physical exam to decide a proper course of treatment.
During your exam, your dentist will also be able to spot any signs of oral cancer, cavities, damaged teeth, or gum disease, and they will also check the condition of any existing dental work.
A cleaning will typically be performed using specialized tools; they will remove any plaque and tartar buildup from the gum lines and teeth. After your teeth are cleaned, and the exams are completed, your dentist will recommend a care and treatment plan.
If additional work is needed (cavity treatment, root canal, crowns, etc.), your dentist will review the options with you, help plan, and set future appointments as needed.
If you have any present dental problems, it’s best to treat them as soon as possible to prevent further damage and pain.
Regular examination and care from a dentist can resolve issues before they become painful and do permanent damage that can not be reversed, such as tooth decay. Even though some people may not need to see a dentist as often as others, that doesn’t change the fact that regular dental visits are essential to our health.
Dental checkups every six months is the general recommendation; however, if you fall into a high-risk category for dental health issues, you may need more frequent checkups. The dentist is someone we should not fear or avoid for any reason. They ensure our mouths stay healthy and help prevent issues that could cause much pain and irreversible damage down the road.
Contact your dentist in Rolla to schedule an appointment or checkup today.
713 Salem Avenue Suite A, Rolla MO 65401
MON 7:30 am - 3:30 pm
WED - THU 7:30 am - 3:30 pm
FRI - SUN Closed