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Preventative Care: Why Regular Check-Ups and Professional Cleanings are So Important

dentist Grand PrairieMany people believe that daily brushing and flossing are more than enough to keep their teeth and gums healthy. Because of this belief, they avoid visits to the dentist and often feel that regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings are a waste of money. In reality, though, regular check-ups and cleanings administered at the dental office are vital to long-term oral health.

What the Dentist Does For You

Even with regular brushing and flossing, plaque and tartar can build up on your teeth, especially along the gum line and in hard-to-reach areas. In the dentist’s office, your dental hygienist uses special tools to remove this plaque and tartar. At the same time, he or she will evaluate the pockets in the gums around your teeth. If the gums are pulling away from the teeth, this is a sign of gum disease, and should be treated

The dentist will also check your teeth for decay using X-rays or digital photography. Finding cavities early prevents them from becoming severe and leading to major work or eventual tooth loss. It is always better to find a small area of decay that can be fixed with a small filling before it turns into a situation requiring a large filling, a crown or even a root canal.

Early detection is also important for oral cancer and other conditions that can develop in the mouth. During a routine check-up, your dentist will perform an oral cancer screening and evaluate the health and overall condition of your oral tissues. If the dentist discovers problems, these conditions can be dealt with promptly.

How Often Should You See the Dentist?

Most dentists recommend that you visit for a routine check-up and cleaning every six months. If you have specific issues that must be monitored, you might need to see the dentist more often. The dentist will also provide a recommendation regarding frequency of X-rays and other diagnostic procedures.

For recommendations about regular dental care, or to schedule that long overdue dentist appointment, please contact a dentist in Irving.