The condition of your teeth and gums influences the rest of your overall health. When you take the best care of your mouth, you lower your risk for other diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart failure. You can prevent or delay many debilitating and fatal illnesses by receiving professional Preventive Dentistry services on a regular basis.
How Often Should You Visit the Dentist?
You may wonder how often you should see your Preventive Dentistry provider. Until the last decade, most dentists agreed that adults should visit their dental provider every six months for routine care. These bi-annual examinations allowed dentists to clean patients’ teeth, take new x-rays, and treat burgeoning tooth decay and cavities before these damages spread to other parts of the mouth.
Now, however, many dentists suggest that healthy adults with good oral hygiene practices can see their dental providers once a year. The annual examination is sufficient for professional teeth cleaning, fluoride treatments, new x-rays to be taken, and other services that can head off oral health complications.
This suggestion is only for adults who brush and floss their teeth twice a day and have good oral hygiene practices like avoiding excess sugar in their diets and have no history of abscesses, broken teeth, chronic cavities, and other damages. If you suffer from poor dental health either because of genetics or your lifestyle habits, you may benefit by seeing your dentist at least twice a year if not more if recommended.
Preparing for Your Dental Examination
If it has been some time since you last saw a dentist, you may wonder how you should prepare for your appointment. Your dentist is a licensed, professionally trained medical specialist. You should be prepared to divulge information about your health much as you would when you visit with your primary care doctor for a physical examination.
Your dentist will want to know what medications you take on a daily basis, what illnesses or health conditions you suffer from, and the date of your last dental exam. You also should disclose lifestyle habits you have including whether or not you smoke or use illicit drugs. These details are needed so the dentist can best decide how to treat your teeth and what precautions to take during your appointment.
The examination may begin with you having x-rays taken of your teeth. The x-rays show the dentist how strong your teeth are and the condition of your roots. These scans can spot burgeoning infections that could lead to an abscess.
After your x-rays are taken, your teeth will then be thoroughly cleaned with professional grade toothpaste. You also may be given a fluoride treatment. The entire appointment may take about 30 minutes to an hour to complete. You may need to schedule a follow-up appointment for further dental work like an extraction, fillings, or root canal.
You can prevent damages to your teeth by visiting your dentist at least once a year. If you suffer from poor dental health or have lifestyle choices that jeopardize your teeth, you may need to see your dental provider at least twice a year to prevent decay.