The Importance of Regular Dental Check-Ups

Preventive care can save you money (and pain).

No one likes to get cavities! Dental cleanings and check-ups every six months play a significant role in keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Your hygienist spots potential problems well before they develop, saving you from procedures that cost much more than a cleaning — like root canals, gun disease treatments, crowns and implants.

Your teeth need regular check-ups and dental cleanings every six months, and not just because your dentist wants to see you twice a year. If you think about all the foreign matter (like food) that goes into your mouth, two cleanings a year don’t seem to be often enough! So it’s a very small price to pay to take care of your oral health.

Dental Cleanings Work

Your dental hygienist makes your bi-annual visits as pleasant as possible, chatting away while she scrapes and tugs. But actually, it’s a sophisticated process that you’re undergoing. During your dental cleanings, your hygienist removes harmful plaque that is impossible to eliminate by simply brushing, no matter how faithful you are with your daily dental regimen.

Plaque is a colorless and sticky type of bacteria mixed with various sugars that continuously forms on the outside of your teeth. It’s the primary cause of gum disease and cavities. If not removed, plaque hardens to form tartar, a brown discoloration that even you can spot on your teeth. Plaque that forms on your gums can lead to inflammation and more serious forms of gum disease.

That’s why your dental hygienist uses powerful tools to remove plaque. Dental cleanings are the best line of defense for a healthy mouth.

Two-Pronged Approach

One aspect of your six-month visit includes cleaning your teeth thoroughly. The second phase usually includes a set of oral X-rays. Your hygienist notes areas of concerns and informs your dentist about them before he steps into the room. During the check-up, your dental team looks for signs of:

  • Beginning cavities and tooth decay
  • Early stages of gum disease
  • Broken or chipped teeth
  • Eroding condition of filled teeth
  • Oral cancer
  • Jawbone damage
  • Abscesses, tumors and cysts

At Least Twice a Year

Biannual dental cleanings are sufficient for most people to keep plaque buildup under control. For others at risk for dental disease, three or four times a year is more appropriate. Consider scheduling quarterly dental visits if you:

  • Smoke
  • Are pregnant
  • Have diabetes
  • Have a lowered immune system
  • Currently suffer from gum disease
  • Tend to get cavities regularly

Prevention keeps your mouth healthy and free from further complications. It’s a small investment to avoid much more expensive procedures. In addition to root canals and lost teeth, untreated dental disease eventually can lead to:

  • Bacterial infections
  • Malnourishment
  • Emergency surgery
  • Heart disease
  • Pneumonia
  • Dementia
  • Death

If you’re putting off a visit to your dentist in Asheville, remember that it’s more than just your smile that’s at stake. <>Schedule an appointment today!

—The Zöe Dental Team