Brushing and flossing regularly helps you fight against tooth decay, bad breath and gum disease. However, cleaning your teeth every day at home is only part of a successful oral hygiene routine. Visiting your dentist regularly helps your dentist look for bigger problems, such as gum disease or other oral issues that you may not even realize you have.
So, how often should you visit your dentist for routine care?
The American Dental Association recommends that you visit your dentist at least once a year to get a routine examination and cleaning. If you have a history of periodontal disease, your dentist may recommend you get your teeth cleaned more often to prevent the recurrence of infections or disease. The number of visits for dental cleanings and exams will depend on your individual needs and dental health, so be sure to check with your dentist to see what they recommend for you.
Why Routine Exams and Cleanings are Important
A dental cleaning is not just for a bright and happy smile. Maintaining regular appointments with your dentist for an exam can prevent a variety of problems and are important in the upkeep of your general oral health.
- Regular cleaning hygiene and prevention visits can indicate if you have any cavities, chipped or broken teeth, tooth decay or gum disease.
- Maintaining consistent appointments for dental exams may also reveal bigger problems. Oral cancers, tumors and other diseases that may not be visible to the naked eye could be revealed with 3D imaging. We offer 3D imaging to our patients so that we can get a clear understanding of any possible oral health issues.
- It’s also a benefit to see the same dentist during each visit. Having a dentist who knows your history well will be able to identify issues more quickly.
What to Expect During a Dental Exam
Although you may dread the recommended dental cleanings every year, routine cleanings help keep your teeth clean and mouth and gums healthy. Here’s what you can expect during your dental exam with us.
- Medical History Review: Let your dentist know if you have any new concerns or conditions or are taking any new medications. These factors are important for your dentist to know because it will determine if anything additional needs to be addressed during your appointment. It can also determine the frequency of dental cleaning per year your dentist will recommend.
- X-Rays and Physical Examination: Diagnostic x-rays are performed to detect tooth decay, tumors, bone loss, root positions, and many other potentially serious issues. Once x-rays have been reviewed, the physical examination takes place. This involves a visual exam that looks for possible tooth decay and an examination of the face, tongue, throat, lips, and gums to screen for oral cancer and gum disease.
- Removing Tartar and Plaque, Teeth Polishing and Flossing: Tartar, or calculus, is hardened plaque that can only be removed with special dental instruments. The tartar is removed first, followed by plaque. Plaque is a sticky film produced by bacteria. Once teeth are free of all debris, the teeth are polished. This polish has a gritty, somewhat rough texture that shines and helps to smooth the surface of the teeth. After teeth have been polished, expert flossing is done. All teeth are flossed accurately, and this removes any leftover debris.
- Final Examination: Once your teeth have been skillfully examined and cleaned, the dentist will perform a final physical exam. This final checkup ensures that your teeth are not only clean and smooth but that your overall dental health is in the best condition possible.
Everyone should see the dentist regularly, regardless of how well you take care of your teeth and mouth at home. Dental visits are more than just cleanings. They can help to take care of issues before they adversely affect the rest of your body.
JR Dental has two convenient locations serving Jacksonville, Florida. We believe in treating our patients with quality care. Our offices are open Monday-Thursday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Fridays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. To make an appointment with our office, please call (904) 786-5850