Why You Should Visit the Dentist Every Six Months
Do you visit the dentist every six months? If the answer is yes, congratulations as you are doing the very best thing possible to help maintain good oral health. If you don’t visit the dentist regularly and wait until you experience tooth pain or other discomforts, you are missing a vital trick. Regular six-monthly checkups and cleanings are an essential part of a preventive dental care plan and are the easiest and most cost-effective way to care for your dental health. Also, your six-monthly checkups and cleans will probably take about an hour to complete whereas leaving dental problems to develop could mean spending hours in the dental chair.
When you visit Dr. Donald Nimz initially, he will gently examine your teeth and gums and will review your medical health. Usually, a complete set of digital dental x-rays is needed on this first visit to assess your oral healthfully. Based on this information, Dr. Nimz will devise the best preventative dental care plan and your six-monthly visits form the cornerstone of this program.
What Is Preventive Dentistry?
Your preventive dental care program is based on close collaboration between you, our dentist, and our dental staff to preserve and protect your natural teeth and prevent dental disease. Your teeth are designed to last for life, but can only do so if they are cared for properly. Many common dental diseases including tooth decay and gum disease, are preventable. Preventive dentistry also involves other factors you may not have considered like your diet which greatly affects your oral health. If needed, our dental team can advise you on how to modify your diet to protect oral health. Often only tiny tweaks are needed such as changing the times when you enjoy certain foods and especially snacks and beverages. We can also provide information and other treatments including fluoride treatments and dental sealants.
Fluoride is enormously helpful in helping to protect and harden tooth surfaces, reducing the risk of cavities. Brushing at least twice daily with good quality fluoride toothpaste is very useful, but sometimes professional applications of fluoride can enhance this effect. We often recommend that children receive a professional application of fluoride twice yearly during their regular checkups. Topically applying fluoride allows it to be absorbed into tooth enamel, increasing resistance against decay. If needed, fluoride supplements are also available in tablet or as fluoride drops. Dental sealants are a treatment often recommended for children, using a thin layer of flowable composite resin to seal the pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces of teeth.
Why Every Six Months?
A lot can change in six months, which is why it’s important to have your dental health closely monitored. When you see the dentist every six months, they can thoroughly assess the condition of your teeth and gums and will collect detailed information to check against your last visit. Comparing this information allows them to assess if there have been any changes in your dental health and if so, what could have caused them. Also, by seeing the dentist regularly, you help to ensure that any small problems are detected earlier, often at a stage where you are unaware that anything is wrong. This is an enormous advantage because if there are any problems, they can be treated much sooner using techniques that are most likely less invasive and quicker and much cheaper too.
Six Monthly Cleanings
Six monthly dental cleanings are also critical for good oral health and can be booked at the same time as your dental checkup with Dr. Nimz. Even if you clean your teeth thoroughly, you most likely leave some plaque behind. Dental plaque quickly hardens into something called calculus or tartar and which is only removable during a professional dental cleaning using proper dental instruments. The problem with plaque and tartar is that these substances contain harmful bacteria, producing toxins that can infect and inflame your gums, greatly increasing the risk of gum disease as well as tooth decay. You’ll also find your hygienist is a great source of information on how to improve your oral care routine.
Receive Expert Advice about Oral Care
Can you remember brushing your teeth this morning? It’s an ingrained habit that most of us don’t even think about, but it’s surprising how oral hygiene education can help improve a brushing and flossing routine. When you visit the dentist regularly, it’s easy for us to identify areas of your mouth that could use some help when you brush and floss. We can review your oral care routine with you and can make some useful suggestions on how to improve it. If necessary, we can show you some more effective techniques for brushing your teeth and especially for flossing.
Many people struggle to floss regularly but it’s important to floss at least once a day after brushing your teeth. Often, people find flossing much easier when they are shown the proper techniques to floss teeth thoroughly. We can talk to you about using interdental brushes which can be easier to manipulate. These are tiny tree-shaped brushes that come in a variety of widths and are designed to fit easily between teeth. Soft dental pics are made from a rubberlike material and are also very good for cleaning between teeth. Another possibility is using a device like a Waterpik, which is an oral irrigator that squirts water between your teeth, removing plaque biofilm.
Hopefully, with good preventive dentistry, your six-monthly visit is all that is needed. It is enormously satisfying to receive a clean bill of health for another six months and to know your teeth are healthy and strong and look their best. There’s another reason for seeing the dentist regularly and that is to protect your overall health.
Protecting Your General Health
Over the past few years, we now know that oral health and general health are closely connected. Your mouth is a ‘window’ to your body and when it is healthy, it prevents harmful bacteria from entering your bloodstream. When you care for your mouth properly, it helps to protect your overall health, reducing your risk of serious diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, dementia, and some cancers.
Are you overdue for your six-monthly checkup? Call McLoughlin Dental Care today to access the very best preventative dentistry.