Why Dental Checkups Are Important
Have you ever been tempted to skip a dental checkup? Even if your teeth look and feel healthy, it is important to see your dentist for regular dental checkups.
Here, we’ll look at why regular dental checkups are important for your oral health and overall health. We’ll also go over the benefits of regular dental checkups and answer some frequently asked questions about dental exams.
The Importance of Regular Dental Checkups
If your teeth and gums are healthy, regular dental checkups are essential for keeping them that way. Regular dental exams are crucial for recognising dental issues early. The sooner oral health problems are detected, the easier and less costly they are to treat.
Regular dental checkups are also important for children. For more information on child health and education, visit Tribe Early Learning. Your dentist can evaluate your child’s oral health and address issues such as:
- Crooked or crowded teeth
- Oral hygiene concerns
- Jaw issues
- Evaluating the need for a custom mouthguard if your child plays contact sports
- Place fissure sealants in deep grooves to prevent tooth decay and cavities
The Benefits of Regular Dental Checkups
Bad Breath Prevention
If you struggle with bad breath, also known as halitosis, it may be related to poor dental hygiene. It can also be a result of smoking, diet, gingivitis, or periodontitis.
Seeing your dentist for regular checkups can help address and prevent bad breath by recognising any underlying issues and treating them accordingly. Your dentist can also advise you on ways to prevent bad breath.
Get Education on Maintaining Your Oral Health
During your dental checkup, your dentist can advise you on changes that will benefit your oral health. Whether this includes instructions on flossing properly or changes to your diet, dental checkups provide a key opportunity for your dentist to ensure you are caring for your teeth the right way.
Prevent Cavities, Tooth Decay, Tartar, and Plaque
No matter how committed you are to brushing and flossing, certain areas of your mouth can get missed. Areas like the back molars can be especially difficult to get completely clean. This means plaque and tartar may build up in certain spots.
If plaque builds up, it can wear away the protective enamel on teeth and lead to decay and cavities. When left untreated, cavities can lead to serious complications such as infection or tooth loss.
At routine dental checkups, your teeth will be professionally cleaned. This will clear away any tartar that cannot be removed by brushing at home and greatly reduce your risk of decay and oral health complications. If your dentist does detect a cavity, it can be treated before the decay gets even worse.
Discuss Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures with Your Dentist
During dental checkups, you and your dentist can evaluate any missing, crooked, stained, or crowded teeth and go over any of your concerns about your smile’s appearance.
Your dentist can discuss cosmetic dental treatments such as teeth whitening, veneers, or teeth aligners to help you achieve a bright, healthy smile. If you are a good candidate for cosmetic dentistry, your dentist can develop a personalised treatment plan based on your goals and needs.
Prevent and Detect Gum Disease
Many times, the early stages of gum disease do not involve any symptoms. Dentists can identify gum disease in its early stages, ensuring you get the treatment you need before symptoms can worsen.
When identified early, gum disease is far easier and less costly to treat. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to jaw damage, pain, inflammation, and tooth loss.
Detect Health Issues
Your oral health is closely linked to overall health. Certain oral health conditions, such as periodontitis, can lead to an increased risk of oral cancer, heart disease, and other serious health complications.
Regular dental checkups provide an important opportunity for your dentist to address any oral health issues early before they can affect your overall health. Your dentist can also examine your jaw, neck, and lymph nodes for any irregularities during routine checkups. If your dentist detects a health issue, they can refer you to the correct medical professional for treatment.
Seeing your dentist regularly ensures any oral health issues are caught right away. By detecting oral health issues as early as possible, regular dental checkups can save you money in the long run. Many oral health issues become more difficult to treat as symptoms progress, leading to an increase in the cost of treatment.
The cost of general dental cleaning and exam, which may even be covered by insurance depending on your provider, is far more affordable than the cost of extensive procedures, restorative services, and fillings.
What to Expect During a Dental Exam
Dental checkups consist of patient education, thorough teeth cleaning, and the detection of any oral health issues. Appointments typically last between 30 minutes to an hour.
Here is what to expect at a dental checkup:
- The dentist will examine the soft tissues of your mouth and the jaw
- The teeth will be checked for cavities, other tooth problems, or broken fillings
- The gums will be evaluated to ensure they are not inflamed or receding
- Radiographs will be taken, if necessary (these important images reveal wisdom teeth problems, gum disease, jaw trauma, and hidden decay)
- Your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned and any tartar (hardened plaque) will be removed
- Your oral hygiene routine will be discussed
- Oral hygiene education will be given if needed
- Problems or concerns such as bad breath, dry mouth, tooth sensitivity, or other issues can be discussed
- Fluoride application will be completed if desired
- Referrals to an Oral Surgeon or Orthodontist will be made if required
How Often Should I Get a Dental Checkup?
The Australian Dental Association recommends seeing your dentist every 6 months for a checkup. However, the ADA notes that this schedule may not be ideal for everyone.
Ultimately, your dentist can advise you on how often you should be seen for checkups. Individuals with advanced gum disease or other oral health issues may need to be seen more often.
Do I Still Need a Dental Checkup If My Teeth Feel Fine?
Even if your teeth feel fine and you do not have any concerns, it is still imperative to see your dentist regularly. Some oral health issues are hard to recognise because they do not have any signs in their early stages. A dentist can detect problems that you may not even realise you have.
How Should I Care for My Teeth Between Dental Checkups?
To keep your teeth bright and healthy in between routine dental visits, follow these oral hygiene tips:
- Brush at least twice a day
- Floss as least once a day
- Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride (feel free to ask us for our top toothpaste recommendations)
- Ask your dentist if a fluoride mouthwash would be a good addition to your oral hygiene routine
- Limit the amount of sugar you consume and try to avoid sticky or chewy foods and candies
- Avoid smoking and tobacco use
- Brush your tongue daily
- Eat a nutritious, balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, and whole foods
Are You Due for a Dental Checkup?
Regular dental checkups are crucial for the early detection of oral health issues and for maintaining good oral hygiene. With consistent dental checkups, you can enjoy a bright, healthy, beautiful smile.
If you have questions about our range of dental services, please contact us. We are your family-friendly dentist in Canning Vale, offering comprehensive dental care and services, including general dental checkups.
We are committed to helping you maintain a smile that looks as good as it feels. Contact us today with any questions, or concerns, or to schedule an appointment.