Regular Dental Checkup
Regular dental checkups are an essential part of maintaining a healthy smile. It’s a critical part of your oral health and something we recommend to all of our patrons. Dental checkups should be completed every six months to maintain proper, optimal health.
Regular Dental Checkups
Regular dental checkups are an essential part of maintaining a healthy smile. They are a critical part of your oral health and we recommend them to all of our patrons. Dental checkups should be completed every six months to maintain optimal oral health.
A dental checkup provides us with the opportunity to examine your oral health and monitor any changes that have occurred since your last visit. At Seycove Dental, a regular dental checkup includes a variety of services, all of which are critical for your oral health.
Our dental checkup appointments begin with a full examination to provide us a basic overview of your current dental health. We will look carefully to detect any cavities, tooth decay, and signs of gum disease. We then conduct a professional cleaning that eliminates any plaque, bacteria, and other buildups on your teeth. This process begins with the use of dental equipment to scrape away accumulations on the teeth and along the gum line. Then we clean and polish the teeth to address any surface stains–this also provides a long-lasting sensation of freshness. We perform an oral cancer check on a regular basis to ensure we catch any diseases as early as possible. We also check your face, tongue, throat gums, and other soft oral tissues for any signs of risk or disease.
Occasionally during your visits, we will use digital X-rays to obtain a detailed view of your oral structure and detect any conditions that may be hidden beneath the surface, such as internal decay, periodontitis, jawbone deterioration, cysts, and oral cancer. We conduct these examinations efficiently, so any discomfort is minimized, and we share the images with you if necessary.
Why are dental checkups important?
Many oral health concerns can only be detected through a thorough examination by a trained dentist. Dental checkups provide oral cancer screenings, digital X-rays to check for hidden issues, and professional cleanings to eliminate plaque, bacteria, and other buildups that daily brushing and flossing won’t effectively eliminate.
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss, so early intervention is essential. Once gum disease has taken its toll on the tooth and supporting bone, it cannot be restored, but only managed or replaced. The dental hygienist will use a small ruler to gently measure the gum “pocket” around each of your teeth, making note of areas that you can’t clean with a toothbrush or floss. X-rays are used in conjunction with these measurements, to identify areas of bone recession.
How often should you get dental checkups?
Ideally, dental checkups are performed every six months. On your first visit to the dentist, they will ask for a full health history to gain an understanding of your past and current health. From there, regular dental checkups will be used to determine any change in your oral health and keep your teeth and mouth in good shape or maintained appropriately.
The American Dental Association, and most dentists, recommend six months because the maintenance and cleaning provided at each visit is the best way to ensure you maintain healthy teeth and gums.
As long as your mouth is free of gum disease and heavy buildup, six months is about the average length of time for tartar and stain to accumulate to the point of needing another teeth cleaning. For individuals with a history of periodontitis, those maintenance visits may need to be as frequently as every 3-4 months.
What are the signs of oral cancer?
Mouth cancer can occur anywhere in the mouth, including the lips, tongue, and throat, as well as the salivary glands, pharynx, larynx, and sinuses. Because early detection is critical to overcoming the disease, make an appointment with your doctor if any of the following occur:
- Sore, swelling, lumps or thick patches in or around your mouth
- The feeling of a lump or object in your throat
- Numbness or pain anywhere in your mouth
- Loose teeth with no dental cause
- Lingering sore throat or hoarseness
- Areas of red or white lesions in your mouth or lips
- Trouble moving your jaw, swallowing or speaking
- Pain in your ear without loss of hearing
Over half of those in the U.S. survive oral cancer after five years, according to the National Institute of Dental Craniofacial Research, but it is critical it is caught early.
Why are brushing and flossing important?
We all know brushing and flossing make our mouth feel great. But, brushing and flossing do more than freshen breath – they physically disrupt the complex network of bacteria called a biofilm. It’s important to disrupt and remove the sticky film so diseases like cavities and gum disease are less likely to happen. There are a lot of products on the market that claim they are the best. Make sure to talk about the options with your hygienist to get the best recommendation.
And as you know, it is important to brush twice a day for at least two minutes, and floss once. If you have a hard time remembering to floss, connect it with a daily activity you always do. You can floss in the shower or while driving to work!
What are other preventative dental care strategies?
Besides having your teeth cleaned and stain polished off, our comfortable dental cleaning also provides other preventative services, such as:
Dental Sealants — Deep grooves and pits in your back teeth are at a higher risk of cavities. Placing a protective sealant over these surfaces makes them easier to clean and lowers your chances of developing tooth decay.
Fluoride Treatment — Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, fights sensitivity, and reverses the earliest stage of tooth decay (demineralization.) Dental insurance typically covers fluoride treatments for children, but our adult patients can take advantage of the service for only $29.
Oral Cancer Screenings — This deadly disease is linked to viruses like HPV, sun exposure, and tobacco/alcohol use. Early screening could save your life. We complete a cancer exam as part of every checkup appointment.
Diagnostic X-rays — Intermittent X-rays allow us to identify new areas of decay or bone loss around your teeth, so that we can treat them in the least invasive manner before they become worse.