Brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day is fairly easy, and it’s important to the continued good health of your teeth and gums. However, the simple act at home is not enough to maintain your healthy smile in the long-run. All patients, regardless of age, should attend regular checkup and cleaning appointments, usually no more than six months apart.
Besides thoroughly cleaning your teeth of plaque and tartar, your regular appointments allow your dentist to check up on the health of your teeth and gums and inspect for signs of trouble. If trouble is found, then your dentist can recommend a treatment plan to address it early, before your smile suffers extensive dental damage or infection.
The Reason Behind Dental Checkups
A dental checkup is a routine examination that involves a thorough visual inspection, and in some cases, the use of digital imaging equipment, like X-rays. Because many of the most common dental problems begin discreetly, regular checkups offer the best chance at protecting your smile from the development of dental health issues.
In addition to cavities, gum disease, and damage to one or more teeth, your dentist will also look for signs of oral cancer, such as lesions, open sores, and other abnormalities. Like other conditions, oral cancer is most effectively treated when detected and addressed in its earliest stages.
Why Early Detection Matters
Dental conditions are progressive – the longer they remain, the more damage they can cause to your teeth, gums, and oral structures. Early detection through routine dental checkups helps you avoid the need for extensive restorative treatment by preventing the development or spread of harmful dental conditions. In the case of oral cancer, early detection significantly raises the chances of successful treatment, and reduces the risks of more severe illness or death.