Why do I need Regular Check Ups?
We all need to visit the dentist for dental and oral health check ups. Seeing us regularly will avoid nasty surprises and allow us to detect any problems in their early stages. Many problems can be present for years prior to causing any pain and discomfort and often, at the onset of pain, teeth are unrestorable or prolonged treatment is required.
Luckily, your dentist is here to help! There’s no need to be scared or anxious. Firstly, the dentist will ask you if you have any problems or concerns and will address these along with a thorough check of your teeth and mouth.
Check Ups are About Prevention
The great thing about regular check ups is that they give you and your dentist a chance to discuss any concerns before they arise and allow you to ask questions about how you can improve your teeth.
Your dentist will give you tips and tricks on how to take better care of your teeth and may suggest preventative treatments to further protect your teeth.
What will Happen During my Check Up?
During your check up, the dentist will be looking for:
- Tooth decay
- Health of your gums, presence of gingivitis or gum disease
- Broken, worn or eroded teeth
- Grinding and wear
- Presence of infections
- Spacing and alignment of teeth
- Eruption of teeth in children and teenagers
- Screening for oral cancer and other lesions
- Health of your saliva
Every two to three years, your dentist may want to take x-rays of your back teeth. These are called bitewing radiographs and they are really important for checking underneath old fillings and between the molars where it is difficult to see. Without these x-rays, we can miss small areas of decay.
Your dentist may occasionally want to see a larger OPG x-ray of your whole mouth. OPGs are great at giving a broad overview of your teeth, jaws, sinus and jaw joint (TMJ). They are very useful for checking the eruption of teeth (including wisdom teeth), looking for dental infections and other pathologies and for examining your TMJ and sinus.
Most patients comment that their teeth “feel soooo good” after a professional clean and yes they will! However, we don’t just clean teeth for that feel good feeling.
Professional cleaning is performed to remove areas of plaque, calculus and staining that you cannot remove at home. Areas that are difficult to get to like under the gums or deep between your teeth. By having your teeth cleaned regularly, we are preventing gum disease and reducing your risk of decay along with leaving you with fresh breath and a healthier mouth.
Your dentist will advise how often you should have your teeth professionally cleaned but research has shown that the recommended amount of time between professional cleans is approximately 6 months.