Have you ever wondered why your dentist recommends to re-visit the clinic every six months? Well, its time you know the reason behind it. Routine dental check-ups are crucial for long term maintenance of oral health for people of all ages. Usually, dentists recommend that the first visit of a child should be as soon as one year of age. This helps to build the foundation for the excellent health of teeth and gums. Moreover, it also impacts the overall well-being of the individual.

Routine dental check-ups have several benefits, such as early detection and prevention of dental diseases such as tooth decay, gum disease, and even periodontal problems.

If you are considering skipping your next routine dental appointment, you might want to read it further to weigh your options. In today’s article, we will discuss the importance of routine dental check-ups. Furthermore, we will highlight the benefits of a regular dental check-up.

What happens during a dental check-up?

Generally, a routine dental check-up is performed in two phases –

Examination

During the examination, Dr. Medina identifies tooth decay or abnormalities that may negatively affect the health of the teeth and gums. X-rays are also a part of the dental examination that determines the extent and location of the damage to the tooth, gums, and alveolar bone. (1)

Additionally, the dentist also evaluates the degree of plaque and calculus on the tooth surface. Dental plaque is typically a sticky layer of bacteria and debris that forms on the surface of the teeth. Improper oral hygiene practice can lead to the hardening of the plaque called calculus. Excessive accumulation of plaque and calculus usually initiates oral diseases.

After tooth examination, the gums’ health is evaluated using a periodontal probe to check the depth of the spaces between the teeth and gums. In a healthy mouth, the gums are firmly attached to the tooth surface. However, people with gum diseases may have deep pocket formations.

Lastly, the dentist evaluates the health of your throat, tongue, and other soft tissues in the mouth. Moreover, he may also consider extra-oral signs such as redness or swelling associated with the face, head, and neck.

Oral prophylaxis

Once a thorough dental examination is performed, the hygienist may proceed to clean your teeth. During this procedure, the hygienist uses an ultrasonic scaler to loosen and remove the mineralized calculus from the tooth surface. Moreover, dental professionals also clean the interdental spaces and areas which are hard to clean with a toothbrush.

After scaling, the tooth surface is polished using a gritty paste to remove the surface stains present on the tooth. Finally, every interdental space is flossed to ensure complete cleaning of the teeth. Ideally, it is best to visit a dentist every six months to maintain proper health and hygiene(2)

What is the importance of routine dental check-ups?

A routine dental check-up is essential for the following reasons –

Early detection and prevention of dental diseases

Routine dental check-ups help the dentist to identify early signs of tooth decay and cavity formation. Furthermore, it helps to evaluate the patient’s oral hygiene status by looking at the amount of plaque and calculus formed on the tooth surface. (3)

Such steps can lead to prompt treatment and prevention of extensive tooth damaging conditions. Moreover, professional teeth cleaning reduces the amount of disease-producing bacteria in the mouth. They are thereby enhancing the oral health of the patient.

Building long term relations with your dentist

Regular dental appointments help you to maintain good relations with your dentist. Moreover, it establishes a healthy communication where you can discuss all the concerns you have regarding oral health and overall well-being. (4)

Moreover, it is a great way to familiarize yourself with the dental office environment to reduce nervousness and anxiety.

Enhancing your self-esteem

Our smile plays a crucial role in creating a good impression on others, especially in your work environment. Regular dental check-ups help to restore and redefine the health status of your mouth. Moreover, it provides clean teeth and gums that enhance the appearance of your smile, making you look good.

Overall well-being

It is a fact that our oral health is directly linked with the overall health and well-being. There are clinical links between poor oral hygiene and diabetes or heart disease. Moreover, osteoporosis and cancer are also common conditions associated with poor oral health.

Therefore, it is essential to take every preventive measure to maintain the health of your teeth and gums. This will help you to stay healthy and fit in your life.

Financial benefit

We all know hoe expensive restorative dental treatments can be. However, preventive dental treatments are far less costly. Moreover, most dental insurance plans cover the cost of two routine dental check-ups in a year. (5)

What are the benefits of a routine dental check-up?

Prevention of bad breath

Usually, poor oral hygiene hosts disease-producing bacteria in the mouth that affect not only the health of the teeth and gums but also causes bad breath. Sometimes bad breath also occurs due to the accumulation of food particles in the mouth that are hard to clean with a toothbrush.

Routine dental check-ups include professional teeth cleaning. This effectively cleans the teeth and gums by removing the food debris, plaque, and calculus in the mouth—thereby reducing the incidence of bad breath.

Protection from cavity, plaque, and calculus

Routine teeth cleaning from a dental professional help to identify the early signs of tooth decay and cavity formation. Moreover, it helps to remove the underlying cause for damage to the teeth such as bacteria and plaque that accumulates in the mouth periodically.

Protection from severe gum diseases

Usually, the calculus buildup in the mouth severely affects the health of the gum tissue. It not only leads to bacterial accumulation, which may loosen the gum tissue but also cause recession of the gums. One of the first signs of gum disease is bleeding and soreness in the mouth. (6)

Routine dental cleaning eliminates the calculus buildup and saves the gums from the adverse effects of calculus and disease-producing bacteria in the mouth.

Prevention of tooth loss

Extensive gum diseases, also known as advanced periodontitis, often leads to bone loss and increases tooth mobility. Routine professional cleaning and dental check-ups help to keep periodontal disease under control. Moreover, it helps to maintain the integrity and health of the teeth and gums for a long time.

Early detection of cancerous lesions

Routine dental check-ups help to identify the signs of developing oral cancer at its early stages. This greatly helps in treating the lesion successfully without affecting the health of the surrounding vital tissues.

Early detection of underlying abnormalities

x-ray examinations performed during routine dental appointments are a great way to get an insight at the underlying developing abnormalities such as tooth abscess, cyst, or tumors. Early detection of such lesions helps to limit the disease spread. Moreover, it prevents damage to the surrounding tooth and tissues. (7)

Altering bad habits

Dentists educate patients on practicing good oral hygiene and counsel them to avoid indulging in bad oral habits. Some of these habits include teeth grinding, jaw clenching, aggressive tooth brushing, and food habits.

The dentist may show you the effects of such habits on your oral health and provide you with solutions that you can use to overcome them effectively.

What is your responsibility after a dental check-up?

It is essential to take proper care of your teeth and gums by following regular oral hygiene practices. Following steps are the best way to achieve good oral health –

  • Brush your teeth for at least two minutes, two times a day. Also, use a fluoride toothpaste to allow remineralization of the enamel.
  • Floss after brushing teeth at least once in a day to remove the debris and plaque present between the teeth.
  • A mouthwash can contribute in controlling plaque formation around the teeth and gumline. Moreover, it provides a fresh breath.

Take away message

Regular dental visits are crucial to maintaining the health of your teeth and gums. Usually, a routine dental check-up involves detailed examination and professional tooth cleaning. Such measures help to detect dental diseases at early stages and prevent them from further damaging the tooth and gums.

Additionally, routine dental check-ups help to maintain long term relations with your dentist, save money, prevent the spread of severe dental diseases, and enhance your looks and confidence. Now that you have understood the importance of routine dental check-up does not forget to visit your dentist at least twice a year. Moreover, follow a good oral hygiene routine to stay healthy and happy.