A lot of things people do in life are either taught or habit, including getting a dental checkup. For instance, some individuals go once a year because that is what a parent taught them to do. Others might not see a dentist for several years simply because it has become a bad habit. However, having your teeth and gums checked is not something to take lightly.
What happens during a dental checkup?
During a dental checkup, a hygienist and dentist work as a team to provide patients with optimal oral care. A visit starts with a hygienist cleaning and X-raying a patient’s teeth. Then, a dentist performs a visual examination. That, along with viewing the X-rays, lets them know if an individual has some type of issue going on that requires attention.
The type of cleaning a hygienist performs is much different than what an individual can do at home. Using skill and special tools, the hygienist removes any plaque and tartar buildup. The hygienist also brushes and flosses the patient’s teeth. When finished, a person’s teeth are healthy and clean.
Oral cancer screening
Another reason for a regularly scheduled dental checkup is that a dentist performs an oral cancer screening on patients. Unfortunately, some people develop this type of cancer but do not realize the risk until things have spiraled out of control. With early detection, an individual has a much better chance of recovery. Dentists rely on special training and education to detect a problem during the assessment.
When small, a cavity is not that big of a deal. Once detected during a dental checkup, the dentist fills it. However, if a cavity goes undetected, it can quickly damage surrounding teeth and even gums. A great way to avoid a root canal or having a tooth extracted is to see a dentist every six months.
Detecting gum disease
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, can affect not only a person’s oral health but also physical health. As part of a dental checkup, a dentist looks for signs of this, as well. Typically, that would include gum tissue pulling away or bleeding. As with cavities, if a dentist diagnoses and treats gum disease early, the patient does quite well.
Teeth grinding or bruxism is common. Usually, this occurs while a person sleeps, making it hard for them to stop. This action causes damage to the enamel of the teeth, which is a kind of protective barrier. Over time, this leads to big problems. Often, a dentist will recommend a nightguard for patients who grind their teeth.
Do not put off having your teeth checked
You should have a dental checkup twice a year, but if you begin to experience any abnormal symptoms, make an appointment with a dentist right away. Whether dealing with a cavity, gum disease, or even grinding of the teeth, a dentist can provide solutions. The health of your mouth is too important to ignore. The most effective oral care starts with taking preventative steps.
Request an appointment or call Bright Smile Dental at 714-361-9308 for an appointment in our Santa Ana office.
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