Wondering if you are overdue for a dental cleaning? Do you have other questions about general dentistry? You’ve got the questions, and we’ve got the answers! Refer to this Q&A guide.
How often should I see my dentist for a cleaning?
The American Dental Association recommends that children and adults visit the dentist every six months for an exam and dental cleaning. That being said, there are some situations in which you may benefit from more frequent dental visits. Not sure how often you need to visit the dentist? Your dentist will be able to assess your oral health and make the proper recommendation based on you and your needs.
Do I need to see my dentist if I don’t have toothaches or dental-related problems?
Yes! In addition to your at-home oral care, it is important to see your dentist regularly – even if you aren’t experiencing any pain or issues. There are a few reasons for this:
- It is possible to have a cavity before you really feel the symptoms of one. With regular dental care, your dentist can address the problem before it snowballs into a larger (more painful!) cavity.
- Preventive care can help you stop a problem in its tracks. For instance, if your dentist notices the start of gingivitis during a cleaning, he can treat you before it develops into more advanced gum disease. Other conditions that benefit from early detection include oral cancer and tooth decay.
- Regular cleanings allow you the opportunity to ask questions or address any concerns you have. This is also a good opportunity to learn more about cosmetic treatments, like teeth whitening treatments, that you’ve been wanting.
- During your exam, your hygienist will remove any plaque and tartar build-up.
What signs or symptoms mean I need to see a dentist?
Sometimes you may need to visit the dentist before it’s time for a regular checkup. Here are a few signs that you need to see the dentist as soon as possible.
- You have a severe toothache
- You have a fever accompanied by oral pain or swelling
- You see a pimple-like bump on your gum
- Your tooth is chipped, cracked, broken, or knocked out
- A filling, bridge, or crown is broken or damaged
- Your gums are bleeding and tender
- You have a foul odor / bad taste in your mouth
What can I expect when I go for a checkup?
When you arrive for a check-up, your oral health will be assessed. Your dentist may order X-rays, which are helpful for diagnosing small cavities, bone loss, or potential problems with emerging teeth (e.g., wisdom teeth).
After your X-rays, your teeth will be inspected for signs of decay or damage. During this time, your dentist will able to look for signs of oral cancer such as bumps or lesions. Then, your hygienist will also clean your teeth and remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and along your gumline. Your teeth are then polished with a gritty toothpaste.
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Are you overdue for a cleaning? Contact us, and we can help you take care of your smile!