Importance of Regular Check-Ups
You hear about it all the time, the importance of regular checkups at the dentist. But do you know why? Our dental team at Wimmer Dental in Centennial remind our clients that dental visits twice a year are to help support healthy teeth and gums.
We believe the key to your dental health is prevention. By seeing one of our Wimmer Dental hygienists every six months, you can avoid major problems by addressing dental concerns early.
According to this Dental Town article and our own Doctor Wimmer, the importance of regular check-ups can be attributed to what they include. When you come in, you can expect the following procedures.
When you visit us for a checkup, you will receive a teeth cleaning, or prophylaxis. Your hygienist will use instruments to clean stains, plaque, and calculus (hardened plaque) from your teeth. Plaque can build up and turn into tartar which creates cavities, so cleanings are very important.
Our dentist and hygienists can advise you if other periodontal procedures such as a deep cleaning will be needed based on the health of your teeth and gums after your checkup.
If we find your plaque and calculus builds up very quickly or you are at high risk for gum disease, we may change your cleaning frequency to every three to four months, versus every six.
Checking your teeth for cavities is part of your dental exam. If you don’t get rid of the plaque on your teeth, it can solidify on the teeth and bother gum tissue. If not treated, plaque can cause gum illness.
The dentist will look at the health of your gums, check for signs of oral cancer, diabetes, or vitamin inadequacies. The dentist will also look at your face, bite, saliva, and your lower jaw joints.
After your hygienist cleans and examines your teeth, they will talk to you about how to brush your teeth at home, how often and what products to use. They will talk to you about things that stain your teeth like coffee and tobacco.
Oral Cancer Exams
The dentist will also examine your mouth for oral cancer, which can become life-threatening. If you catch it early it is usually treatable. Your oral cancer exam does not hurt and will take only a short time. The oral exam finds signs of dead tissue caused by tumors by shining a special light inside your mouth.
Plaque and tartar buildup can also create gum disease called gingivitis. This tartar buildup creates an infection and causes the gum to pull away from the tooth. Gum disease brings swelling, bleeding, or soreness in the mouth. It can break down bone that holds teeth in place and can cause tooth loss.
Regular cleanings can help you avoid gum disease, as well as its related treatments such surgery, extreme deep cleaning, and medication.
A discussion of bad habits you should avoid includes, chewing ice, biting your nails, clenching your jaw, grinding your teeth, eating particularly sticky or hard sweets, brushing your teeth too hard, drinking coffee and red wine, and smoking.
You will get your teeth and jaw bone x-rayed. The x-rays show the dentist what is going on beneath the surface and in between your teeth. The x-rays also show any damage to your jawbone and bone decay, swelling, cysts, or tumors.
Head, Neck and Lymph Node Check
Your dentist will check your neck, jaw, and lymph nodes, located just below your jawline, for any swelling, lumps, or other abnormalities. Swollen lymph nodes could be cancer or other diseases. Your neck and thyroid glands are also checked.
Dr. Matthew Wimmer at Wimmer Dental in Centennial explains the benefits of dental visits twice a year are to help support healthy teeth and gums. The importance of regular checkups to the dentist can’t be stressed enough, not only for your teeth and gums but also for a number of other health issues. If you’ve been putting it off, it’s time to come in and see us. Call or contact us today for an appointment.