Family dentistry is about preventing and treating dental problems at every age, from baby to the elderly. One way that we do this at Landmark Dental Group is by providing routine dental cleanings and examinations. Even if you think your oral hygiene habits can rival any dentist, you shouldn’t skip these routine annual checkups because they are extremely important to your oral health.
Cleanings Eliminate Tartar
Even if you take impeccable care of your teeth, keep in mind that bacteria live naturally in your mouth. And while routine brushing and flossing can usually eliminate it, that bacteria is sneaky. It will hide in every nook and cranny until it can form tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional.
Routine dental cleanings remove this tartar to prevent cavities and other dental conditions, such as periodontal disease/bone loss. For people who may have some gum recession that creates pockets or gaps between the gums and teeth, tartar can even hide there. Scaling and root planing is a more advanced cleaning that cleans and smooths the surface of teeth below the gum line.
Dentists Help to Prevent More Serious Problems
During routine dental examinations, we aren’t just looking for cavities. Like any other good family dentistry practice, we’re also thinking about potential problems. These potential problems may be minor and easy to prevent. For example, your dentist may notice that you aren’t brushing your back teeth as well as you should. In that case, a simple reminder and a few helpful tips can prevent future cavities.
Other problems could be more serious, such as gum disease. You may not realize that your gums are swollen or red, but your dentist can spot the warning signs that gingivitis may be brewing. A good cleaning and some education on proper oral health and hygiene can prevent or reverse the gingivitis before it develops or worsens.
Your Dentist Can Spot Unseen Trouble
Besides preventing future problems, routine examinations allow your dentist to spot trouble before you realize something is wrong. X-rays can reveal an infection that wasn’t causing any pain, and a close inspection could reveal a chip or a crack in a back tooth that wasn’t bothering you.
Sometimes, however, the dentist may spot something a little more dangerous, such as oral cancer. Even if you aren’t at risk for oral cancer, it’s still one thing your dentist looks for during examinations. As with most forms of cancer, it’s important to catch oral cancer as early as possible. If you neglect your routine dental examinations, you might not realize you have oral cancer until you start showing advanced symptoms.
Routine dental cleanings and examinations aren’t just about cleaning your teeth. Your dentist uses them to help spot or prevent more serious conditions. If you’ve put off visiting the dentist for too long, contact Landmark Dental Group, our family dentistry office in Santa Cruz, today.