How Often Do I Really Need to See the Dentist?
Professional cleanings and dental exams are a vital component of oral health care. The Canadian Dental Association recommends a visit every six months, although your dentist may suggest more frequent appointments if you’re at high risk for tooth decay or gum disease.
The Benefits of Professional Teeth Cleaning
Professional dental cleanings help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. While regular brushing and flossing at home can help you remove plaque, specialized tools are required to scrape off tartar and clean beneath the gum line.
Additionally, your hygienist can floss hard-to-reach areas of your mouth. This is particularly beneficial if you have braces or other orthodontic appliances that make flossing a challenge. Your hygienist may also give you a fluoride treatment to strengthen your teeth against decay.
The Purpose of a Dental Exam
Regular dental exams are crucial to the early detection and treatment of oral health issues. Once your teeth have been cleaned, your dentist will:
- Check for signs of tooth decay and damage
- Look for inflammation and other signs of gum disease
- Assess the spacing and alignment of your teeth
- Evaluate the condition of any crowns, fillings or bridges
- Examine your jaw and the lymph nodes in your neck
Additionally, your dentist may take X-rays to check for tooth decay, fractures and bone loss beneath the gum line. A dental exam is also your opportunity to ask questions or raise concerns about your oral health and the appearance of your smile.
Caring For Your Teeth Between Appointments
The key to good oral health is to establish proper hygiene habits at an early age and maintain a consistent routine throughout adulthood. In addition to visiting your dentist on a regular basis, you should:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste
- Floss your teeth at least once a day using a floss pick or threader if necessary
- Limit your consumption of food and beverages that are acidic or high in sugar
- Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco products
Keep in mind that these healthy habits will also limit your need for more frequent dentist appointments.
Visit Your Family Dentist in SE Calgary
At Forest Lawn Dental Centre, our friendly staff is happy to provide treatment for the entire family, from infants to seniors. We also offer a variety of cosmetic dentistry procedures to help you maintain and restore your smile. For more information about our services, or to schedule an exam at our clinic in SE Calgary, contact us today.