How Often to Visit a General Dentist Office
Has it been a while since you had a general dentist checkup? You know how critical it is to maintain good health. Taking good care of your mouth, teeth and gums is part of your overall wellness. It may be easy to lose track of time, but you cannot forget to keep up on your dental appointments.
Conditions that can arise
A casual or neglectful approach to oral care can lead to serious problems. Lack of brushing and flossing can cause tooth decay or infections. Plaque and tartar can build up on teeth, causing gum disease. In the most serious cases, gums can recede, and the patient may suffer bone loss in the jaw. An abscess may develop on a tooth as well. Without proper intervention, the person could lose teeth.
Overview of a wellness checkup
A general dentist appointment is preventive and allows the dentist to diagnose any developing conditions in the patient’s mouth. The hygienist will first take X-rays of all the patient’s teeth. Next, the hygienist will clean each side of every tooth, scraping up plaque and other buildup. Flossing will follow this step; sometimes, the hygienist may use an ultrasonic tool to do this. The hygienist or dental assistant will polish the person’s teeth. Lastly, the dentist will do an examination and may provide suggestions on how to improve brushing and flossing.
As soon as a young child’s teeth start emerging, patients should come to the dentist every six months. It is important not to get behind in these visits and to establish consistent habits of getting these checkups. Patients with gum or tooth issues such as gingivitis, periodontitis or severe tooth decay should come in even more often. The dentist will establish a treatment plan in these cases.
Benefits of going to the general dentist
Some people may think diligent daily brushing, flossing or rinsing with mouthwash is enough and that dental checkups are unnecessary. While these at-home habits are good, dental appointments are crucial components of oral health care. At a dental checkup, the dentist can spot concerning issues before they get worse. The dentist also has tools and equipment to reach some of the difficult areas of the mouth more effectively. Dental visits are complementary to the consistent habits people can do on their own.
Other times to come
People do not have to wait six months to make a general dentist appointment. If the patient has a toothache, it is important to come in as soon as possible. The dentist can also address problems such as broken or chipped teeth, or bleeding gums at any time between the semiannual wellness exams.
Make it a priority
It is easy to let time get away from you and miss out on dental appointments. However, the longer you wait to see the dentist, the more likely you will develop harmful conditions in your mouth and teeth. The dentist can repair these issues and improve the way your teeth look and feel. Schedule your next appointment today.
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