Why You Should See Your Dentist Twice a Year
Good oral health starts with a good oral hygiene routine. Brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and getting to your dentist twice a year for cleanings and checkups. Since you go to your general practitioner for visits once a year, you’re probably wondering why you need to go to the dentist twice a year.
Regular visits to Dr. Batlle play an important role in preventing diseases and catching them at their early stages.
But why twice a year?
Poor oral health has long plagued society and it wasn’t until mid 20th century that people began to notice the true impact oral hygiene has on the quality of life and oral health. It was at this time that preventative dentistry became a thing and dentists had a new mission to prevent problems instead of just treating those that already existed.
Because people don’t see inside their mouth like they do the outside of their body, it can be easy to miss signs and symptoms of more serious problems. Waiting a year between visits would allow those problems to progress further, whereas waiting six months will usually allow a dentist to catch the problem and treat it early on.
Do people need more than two visits a year?
For the majority, two visits a year will suffice. However, certain people might need more frequent visits to help ensure issues are caught early on. These include people who are diabetic, pregnant, those who smoke or drink (in excess), and patients who have periodontal disease.
What is a dental checkup like?
During a typical checkup the doctor will examine your mouth both internally and externally. He’ll check surrounding tissues for any sign of infection or illness as well as your teeth for signs of decay.
This is also an opportunity to discuss with him any concerns or questions you might have. A large part of the checkup is education. He’ll discuss your oral care routine and help fill in any gaps that need to be addressed.
What Happens At My Dental Check-Up?
In addition to the normal teeth cleaning you may be accustomed to receiving from your dental hygienist, your dentist may also want to cover other areas of your oral health as well. Your dentist will check everything from your teeth and gums to your jaw joints. Your mouth is tightly connected to the health of many other areas of your body. By completing a close examination of all areas of your mouth, the dentist can identify any warning signs of health concerns, whether in your mouth or elsewhere in your body.
During your teeth cleaning, your hygienist will focus on plaque and tartar buildup, which can cause gum disease if untreated. Your dentist will also feel your lymph nodes for signs of infection and check your lower jaw extension for popping or pain (TMJ syndrome). X-rays may be required if it has been a while since your last appointment or you are a new patient.
Keeping Your Mouth Healthy And Clean
In addition to regular dental appointments, home hygiene routines should be established to ensure your oral health between check-ups (yes, even flossing). To learn more about developing a positive oral hygiene routine, contact Southwest Family Dentistry.