The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends adults make at least one visit every four months for a regular dental cleaning and examination. Doing so will help you maintain healthy gums and teeth, and prevent more serious and costly complications down the road.
Some people have the attitude that they don’t need to visit the dentist. After all, they have a toothbrush and toothpaste in their bathroom cabinet, so what’s the purpose of seeing a dentist? Well, we only get one set of teeth as adults, and as much as we try to protect them by doing everyday oral hygiene techniques (brushing, flossing, and mouthwash), plaque will inevitably begin to accumulate on places you can’t reach. Thankfully, dentists and hygienists are well-trained in the removal of plaque by using a number of special tools and instruments.
What Does a Regular Dental Visit Consist of?
When you visit the dentist for a regular examination and cleaning, he or she will typically begin by taking x-rays of portions, or “quadrants”, of your mouth. This will allow them to see the roots of your teeth and determine if there are any visible cavities or hidden bone structures like wisdom teeth which could negatively impact your oral health. A proper x-ray will also show the alignment of your teeth and whether or not braces are required.
The real work during a dentist appointment begins with the cleaning of your teeth. While many professionals perform this task in different ways, their goal remains the same: to remove as much as plaque and tartar from your teeth, gums, and tongue as possible. If you have a buildup of tartar deposits on your teeth, it may be quite difficult to remove them in one sitting. The dentist or hygienist will usually start by scraping away as much tartar and plaque as possible using a scaler or similar hand tool, and washing it away with a mister. Once they’ve got all the plaque and tartar that’s going to come off, they will usually move on to a fluoride treatment for your teeth.
A fluoride treatment is a toothpaste-like substance that’s polished onto your teeth in order to prevent plaque from thriving. Like toothpaste, fluoride shouldn’t be swallowed, as it can easily upset your stomach if too much is ingested.
If everything goes well during your dental visit, you shouldn’t need to come back until 4 to 6 months. But, you have to keep up with your oral hygiene and remember to brush and floss twice a day. Cavities are no fun and having to make a trip to the dentist for a cavity or some other oral problem can be worse than a simple cleaning. So, keep your teeth clean and healthy and make those dental visits twice a year!
Schedule an appointment with one of the dentists at Little Rock Family Dental Care today by calling the office at 501-954-9900 or requesting an appointment online.