There are very few things that are more certain to happen than having your spouse, family member or dentist tell you it’s important to go to the dentist. And believe it or not, they’re right! They’re not just doing it because they like to hear themselves talk, they’re doing it because regular visits to the dentist are crucial for our oral and overall health. Because what you may not notice while lying in the chair, is that dentists do many things throughout a check-up. And this blog is going to tell you what those things are. Continue reading below for a list of reasons why regular dentist check-ups are essential as well as how often you should be visiting the dentist and more.
The Importance of Regular Dental Check-Ups
Maintain Your Pearly White Smile
First and foremost, a regular dental check-up will help you keep that sparkling smile. Because despite how often you brush and floss, there will always be plaque that goes untouched. But by keeping up with your regular check-ups and cleaning, your dentist has the opportunity to catch these little bits of plaque and make sure they are cleaned away. Your dentist will also use their specialty tools to scrape away some of the more stubborn plaque that your toothbrush doesn’t have the strength to remove.
Depending on the condition of your mouth and teeth, your dentist might also use your check-up to perform other procedures as well.
Examine Your Teeth, Gums and Mouth
On top of cleaning your teeth, a regular dental check-up gives your dentist a chance to examine your mouth. Dentists have years of training as well as access to many specialty tools and equipment that allow them to see more than the average person could. Most commonly, they’ll be on the lookout for cavities, crowding, wisdom teeth and more. And while you may think that you can see or feel these things, your dentist will be able to determine how urgent repair work is and ensure you experience as little pain as possible.
But it doesn’t end there. While examining your mouth, your dentist will also be able to understand your brushing habits better and point out any areas of concern.
Screen For Oral Cancer
This is one thing that many people don’t realize that your dentist does. But it’s true. Your dentist can also provide screening for oral cancer during your regular check-up. And while oral cancer is most common in adults over 45, we feel that this is reason enough for patients of all ages to maintain regular check-ups. Many people often overlook the need to screen for oral cancer as it is not quite as common as other forms of cancer, but in Canada, dentists alone find thousands of cases of oral cancer each year. And if oral cancer is caught early enough, it’s often treatable.
Provide Advice on Your Oral Cleaning Habits
As we mentioned above, during a regular check-up your dentist has the opportunity to examine your mouth and get a good understanding of your dental cleaning routine. Yes, this will more than likely end with your dentist telling you to floss more, but it may also help you stop other habits before they cause damage. By simply examining your teeth and gums, your dentist can determine if you’re overbrushing, brushing too hard or using the wrong type of toothbrush. All of which can cause damage.
Brushing Too Hard – Brushing too hard is one of the most common things we see with patients. People believe that brushing harder means their teeth with be cleaner, but don’t realize that it can cause severe damage. Using too much force when brushing can push too hard on your gums, eventually leading to a receding gum line, but it can also wear away the enamel on your teeth. This can expose sensitive areas of your teeth and make them more susceptible to future problems. The problems above can also be used by brushing with too hard of a toothbrush, so it’s important to ensure you’re using the right one. For 99% of patients, we recommend a soft bristle toothbrush. If you’re using a firm or even medium bristle toothbrush, it’s time to ditch it before it can cause any more damage.
Overbrushing – Much like brushing too hard, overbrushing can cause your gums to recede and the enamel on your teeth to wear off. You should be brushing once every 12 hours, and if you feel the need to clean your teeth in between, you should try using mouthwash or rinsing with water. These options are much more gentle on your teeth and gums than excessive brushing while still providing that clean feeling. And the same goes for whitening toothpaste. These kinds of toothpaste contain microscopic scrubbers that essentially scrub your teeth harder than regular toothpaste— allowing them to clean deeper stains. But too much of these kinds of toothpaste can also lead to your enamel being scrubbed away. If you choose to use whitening toothpaste, we recommend using them once a day or every other day— using regular toothpaste for all the other times.
Work With You To Keep You Healthy
And last but not least, a regular dental check-up gives your dentist the chance to chat with you about other aspects of your life as well. When looking at your teeth, gums and mouth, your dentist can examine any problems and start a conversation with you about your diet, alcohol use and smoking habits. Because what you may not realize is that all of these things affect the health of your teeth and mouth. During your visit, your dentist will chat with you about the problems present as well as show you exactly where it’s happening. From there, you’ll work together to work out ways you can improve these aspects of your life to improve the health of your smile.
As you can see, a regular dental check-up does more than merely clean your teeth. And it’s for these reasons that it’s vital you maintain your regular check-ups. In most cases, we recommend you visit your dentist once a year, but your dentist may also recommend you come back every three months to ensure your teeth get the cleaning and treatment they need to stay healthy. If you have any questions regarding a dental check-up at Stonegate Dental, our services or even dental check-ups in general, we encourage you to reach out to us by phone, email or on Facebook. Our team would be more than happy to chat with you and put all your nerves at ease.