You probably know that “regular” dental care is important for your health, but you might not know exactly how that is defined or what the benefits actually are. We at Family Dental Care of Bellevue are committed to educating our patients about both their own dental health and the process of dental care. While everyone is different, in general, regular dental care is defined as a checkup and a cleaning every six months.
Why visit the dentist regularly? Here are the top 7 reasons to make these visits a priority.
Prevention of future issues
Although patient home care such as brushing and flossing is very important, it is not enough to protect your teeth from decay and gum disease. Twice-annual cleanings at the dentist’s office are essential to removing plaque and tartar, (those hard deposits that build up between your teeth). If you have not been to the dentist in awhile, you will probably need a deep cleaning and scaling, which takes longer and is more expensive, and because your gums are inflamed from the plaque and tartar, this type of cleaning can be uncomfortable. If you keep up with your cleaning schedule, however, you will need only a quick basic cleaning.
In addition, your dentist will check for issues before they develop into full-blown problems. Numerous treatments are available to protect your teeth, and small cavities are much easier to manage than advanced tooth decay.
Early detection of oral illness
Gum disease and oral cancer are most successfully treated early, before they have a chance to progress. Untreated oral cancer can be deadly, while gum disease can increase your chances of developing a serious illness such as heart disease or stroke. When caught early, gum disease can actually be reversed, and oral cancer can be successfully treated. Our dentists will thoroughly check the tissues in your mouth to look for any changes or suspicious spots, and recommend a course of action if anything is present.
Head and neck examination
Our dental exams also include a thorough examination of the head and neck. We will look for changes in your face, neck, and lymph nodes that could be signs of illness. Your bite might also be checked for symptoms of TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder. This exam is generally quick and painless, but is a vital indicator of your overall state of health.
Assessment of previous dental work
If you have fillings, crowns, bridgework, or dentures, our dentists will examine them to be sure they are still holding strong. Loose or ill-fitting dental appliances can cause problems with chewing and could eventually fall out. Failed fillings need to be redone to prevent further problems from developing. Regular dental checkups ensure that everything is working as it should, and can prevent costly future re-treatments.
With modern technology, there is no reason to suffer with a less than perfect smile. Our dentists at Family Dental Care of Bellevue can suggest a wide range of cosmetic procedures to brighten up your teeth and improve their overall appearance. Of course, the regular cleanings that are performed at every appointment will go a long way toward minimizing staining and discoloration, making it less likely that you will need additional cosmetic treatments.
Consultation and advice
We all have questions about our dental routines from time to time, but many people never make it a priority to ask a dentist their questions. You might want to know the latest recommendations on fluoride for children. Perhaps you need advice on which toothpaste to use for your particular dental situation. Maybe you are ready to start a family and wonder what impacts pregnancy might have on your teeth. We can provide personalized advice that is targeted to your needs.
Building a relationship with a provider you trust
Despite our best efforts, life happens. If your baby has teething difficulties in the middle of the night or your teenager knocks out a tooth playing sports, it is comforting to have someone you trust to handle the situation. Through regular twice a year visits, you will build a relationship with both the dentist and the support team. They will be intimately familiar with you and your family’s dental health and previous dental work, and will therefore be in the best possible position to make the treatment decisions that work for you.