Getting regular dental care twice each year is one of the best things you can do to prevent dental problems later on. Preventive dentistry focuses on prophylactic steps that help preserve your dental health, discourage the development of dental diseases like cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease.
One of the most important preventive steps to take is to have routine dental cleanings and checkups at least every 6 months. During these appointments your hygienist will remove calcified tartar buildup from your teeth. Tartar is plaque that has formed into hardened deposits and cannot be removed using floss or a toothbrush. If left in place, tartar encourages gum disease and can lead to bone and tooth loss.
Routine bitewing x-rays once each year can help screen for possible changes in your existing fillings, bone levels, and new decay between your teeth. These areas are not visible in a clinical examination, so your dentist needs them to check and identify areas that have started to develop since your last set of bitewing x-rays. Identifying concerns as early as possible helps preserve your dental health and keep your expenses related to care at a minimum.
Oral cancer screenings are performed at almost every dental check-up, whether you knew it or not! Your dentist or hygienist checks your soft and hard oral tissues for signs of abnormal areas that could possibly be pre-cancerous or cancerous. When found on their own, most people cannot identify oral cancer until it has reached an advanced stage. Early diagnosis is essential for successful treatment of this disease condition.
If you’re behind on your preventive dental care, don’t worry! Your dentist will help get you back on track and help you restore your oral health as much as possible.
Posted on behalf of Linda King DDS
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