Going in for routine dental care does not have to be a scary process. Many patients feel so nervous about this visit that they may put off appointments for months or even years. If you regularly go to the dentist for teeth cleanings and examinations, you can keep cavities and gum disease at bay. Maintaining consistent dental care is important for your health and wellness.
What to expect
One of the biggest reasons people have anxiety about going to the dentist is that they do not know what will happen. The appointments are not meant to cause pain and discomfort. Routine dental care evaluates the patient’s teeth and gums. These appointments typically begin with X-rays and a review of the patient’s oral health history. The hygienist will use an ultrasonic dental tool to clean the patient’s teeth and gums. A thorough polishing will follow this. The dentist will review the X-rays and conduct an examination.
When to start
Parents should begin routine dental care for children before the child starts school or has a mouthful of teeth. As soon as a toddler’s first tooth emerges, it is important to schedule an appointment. Initial appointments will be fast and less involved than for older patients. As the child gets older, the dentist will begin more comprehensive examinations.
This is one of the most common questions patients ask their dentists. People of all ages should visit the dentist’s office at least every six months for routine dental care. Patients who are prone to having cavities, infections or gum disease may need more regular attention.
Benefits of routine dental care
Consistently visiting the dentist helps establish good oral health habits. At these semiannual checkups, the dentist may spot issues that the patient or parents did not know about. This gives the dentist the opportunity to address the problem before it spreads and gets worse. A regular visit also allows the dentist to teach the patient about proper brushing techniques and other helpful tips.
In between appointments
A patient cannot come into the dentist’s office twice a year and figure these appointments are enough to maintain strong, healthy teeth and gums. Neglecting daily activities could lead to tooth decay, buildup, gingivitis, periodontitis or other severe conditions. The patient should brush at least twice a day and floss daily. Children and adults should limit the number of sugary foods and drinks they consume. Patients who experience toothaches, bleeding or swollen gums, or jaw pain at any time should contact the dentist immediately. Cosmetic issues such as chips, cracks or fractures also require prompt attention.
Your life is busy, but you care about your health and well-being. Coming to the dentist’s office twice a year for routine dental care is critical throughout life. Commit to going every six months for checkups and examinations. If you do this, you reduce your risks of developing oral health problems. If it has been a while since your last appointment, call your dentist now and schedule a checkup.
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