You think you take pretty good care of your teeth, and maybe that’s true. You brush, floss, and even bought one of those newfangled water-flossers. But home care is only part of a complete oral health regime. Six-month visits to the dentist give you the best chance of maintaining good oral health.
Routine Six-Month Visits
How often do you visit your dentist? According to the American Dental Association (ADA), just 52.3 percent of adults reported that they had visited their dentist every six months for the past few years. An additional 15.4 percent reported visiting their dentist annually, and 11.0 percent say they only see a dentist once every two to three years. While many people find visiting the dentist an unpleasant chore, regular dental check-ups are the key to long-term oral health.
Routine dental visits accomplish several aspects of your oral health. Regular visits help your dentist understand your overall health and what types of dental problems you are dealing with on an ongoing basis. Medical questionnaires are a common component of six-month check-ups, especially for new patients. Your six-month check-up is an excellent time to update your dentist about any changes to your health that may impact your oral health.
X-rays and Exams: Revealing Hidden Problems
Your dentist or hygienist will inspect your teeth and mouth for signs of dental decay, gum disease, and other abnormalities of the face, mouth, and neck. Even if everything looks good, a full set of x-rays as a preventive tool alerts the dentist to potential problems you may not be aware of. Dental x-rays can help the dentist gain a more in-depth look at the teeth and identify small cavities before they evolve into root canal visits.
No matter how well you brush and floss, no one gets your teeth completely plaque-free like a dental hygienist. Plaque buildup and its associated bacteria is the major cause of gum disease and sends hordes of patients each year off to the periodontist. Mind you, gum disease not only affects your oral health but is known to contribute to other diseases.
- Respiratory disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Coronary artery disease
- Blood sugar abnormalities and diabetes
Not to scare you, but in recent years there has been considerable interest in possible links between periodontal disease and many other systemic diseases. Dentists are increasingly aware that such links exist. They understand and accept that it is essential for all members of the dental team to be aware of the periodontitis-systemic disease link and provide evidence-based guidance and advice to patients.
The Douglas Family Dentistry Experience
Douglas Family Dentistry is concerned with the total oral health of patients young and old. Our friendly, welcoming atmosphere takes the stress out of going to the dentist. Our goal is to treat each patient as an individual and create plans that address their complete oral and physical health. If you live in Phoenix, Scottsdale, or the surrounding communities, call us at 480-948-3680 or go to our website to schedule an appointment.