WHY ARE REGULAR DENTAL VISITS IMPORTANT?
Regular dental visits are important because they help keep your teeth and gums healthy. You should have a regular dental visit at least every 6 months.
What happens at your visit?
There are 2 parts to a regular dental visit. One part is the check-up. The other is the cleaning.
Healthy teeth and gums
Your dental professional will check for cavities and to see if there is plaque or tartar on your teeth. Plaque is a clear, sticky layer of bacteria. If it is not removed, it can harden and become tartar. You cannot remove tartar with brushing and flossing. If plaque and tartar build up on your teeth, they can cause oral diseases.
Next, your gums will be checked. This will be done with a special tool to measure the spaces between your teeth and gums. With healthy gums, the spaces are shallow. When people have gum disease, the spaces may become deeper.
The check-up should also include your tongue, throat, face, head, and neck. This is to look for any signs of trouble, swelling, or cancer.
Brushing and flossing help clean the plaque from your teeth, but you can't remove tartar at home. During the cleaning, your dental professional will use special tools to remove tartar. This is called scaling.
After your teeth are scaled, they may be polished. In most cases, a gritty paste is used for this. It helps to remove any surface stains on your teeth.
The final step is flossing. Your dental professional will use floss to make sure the areas between your teeth are clean.
What you should do between visits
Be sure to take care of your teeth and gums between regular dental visits. Plaque is always forming on your teeth, but you can get rid of it by brushing and flossing regularly. Here are some tips for good oral care at home.