Visiting the dentist regularly greatly contributes to a solid oral hygiene routine. Today, our North York dentists explain why dental checkups and cleanings are so essential.
You’re diligent about your oral hygiene. You brush and floss twice a day, maintain a healthy diet, and take good care of your teeth and gums. You may think you’re doing enough work keeping them clean - why should you spend the time to visit the dentist twice a year?
Many of our patients ask how often they really need to see us. The truth is, no matter how careful and thorough you are with brushing and flossing, plaque still gradually accumulates on the teeth and gums, then hardens into tartar. As you probably know, tartar is difficult to remove and can lead to gum disease, cavities and other health issues.
Your dentist and dental hygienist have the tools and skills necessary to provide the deep cleaning your teeth need to remain healthy.
Some of the tools your dentist uses to perform a cleaning include:
Made of metal, these hand-held devices help your dentist or hygienist scrape plaque and calculus (tartar) from your teeth. Scalers have a pointed end used on the section of a tooth that rises above the gum line, and a curved, blunt end to clean below the gum line, without injuring the gums.
Once your dentist or hygienist has removed the plaque and calculus, a polishing tool and moderately abrasive paste will be used to polish your teeth, shining them up and making them appear as white as possible.
The dentist will examine the back surfaces of your teeth and the back of your mouth with small hand-held mirrors. The mirrors reflect light to allow your dentist to see tartar deposits on your teeth more easily.
How to Prevent Oral Disease
Along with deep cleaning your teeth, your dentist and hygienist will perform a thorough oral exam (which may include x-rays) to find out whether you have, or may be developing, any oral health issues.
Your dentist and hygienist will be able to catch many oral health issues early on that you may not, since they require x-rays and a trained eye to spot. These include gingivitis, cavities and oral abnormalities such as cysts and tumours.
How often should I visit the dentist?
At 5000 Yonge Dental, we recommend most of our patients come in for a cleaning and checkup twice a year - every 6 months, to be exact.
However, depending on your specific oral health requirements, we may recommend you visit us more often.