Your oral health relies on more than just your toothbrush. Although your home hygiene routine can be instrumental to ensuring the smile you flaunt is always bright and beautiful, regular dental check-ups are equally important to identifying and preventing the development of gum disease and other health concerns you may not see or feel developing. To stay up to date with your mouth's health, visit your dentist at least twice a year.
Why Is This a Rule?
The idea that dental check-ups should occur twice a year originated in the mid-20th century. After recognizing the toll poor dental health was having on the quality of life and overall health of Americans, preventative dentistry was born with the mission to keep teeth healthy, even when there didn't seem to be anything wrong.
Though there is no concrete inception of the rule, many claim its first use was on a Pepsodent toothpaste advertisement.
Who May Need More Frequent Visits?
Most individuals can safely assume that two appointments per year will keep their smile healthy. However, depending on the case, some may need more or fewer check-ups. Those with particularly good home hygiene and slower plaque formation can easily get away with only one appointment a year. On the other hand, those with preexisting habits or conditions may need to visit more frequently to ensure their mouth stays as healthy as possible. People who may need more check-ups include:
- Patients with Periodontal Disease
- Pregnant Women
- Patients with Weak Immune Systems
If you're ever unsure about how often you should visit, ask your dentist for their professional opinion.
What Happens at My Dental Check-Up?
In addition to the normal teeth cleaning you may be accustomed to receiving from your dental hygienist, your dentist may also want to cover other areas of your oral health as well. Your dentist will check everything from your teeth and gums to your jaw joints. You mouth is tightly connected to the health of many other areas of your body. By completing a close examination of all areas of your mouth, the dentist can identify any warning signs of health concerns, whether in your mouth or elsewhere in your body.
During your teeth cleaning, your hygienist will focus on plaque and tartar buildup, which can cause gum disease if untreated. Your dentist will also feel your lymph nodes for signs of infection and check your lower jaw extension for popping or pain (TMJ syndrome). X-rays may be required if it has been a while since your last appointment or you are a new patient.
Keeping your Mouth Healthy and Clean
In addition to regular dental appointments, home hygiene routines should be established to ensure your oral health between check-ups (yes, even flossing). To learn more about developing a positive oral hygiene routine, contact Gasser Dental Corporation or call (623) 972-8217.