Health is often the biggest priority for many people as they begin the new year. Although this is usually related to weight loss or the breaking of bad habits, perhaps this year you should consider your dental health.
There are so many benefits to taking charge of your dental health. For one, it can have a large impact on your overall quality of life. Consider the confidence boost that fresh breath and clean white teeth can bring. The first step towards improving your dental health is by scheduling an annual dental checkup.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends a professional tooth clean and dental check up twice a year. It’s important to stick to a scheduled pattern of checkups to keep on top of your tartar development. This is a substance that can cause tooth decay can only be cleaned by a dental professional.
If you haven’t been in a while, or have known issues with your teeth, you might even have to go more than twice a year. In any case, going to see your dentist regularly for small amounts of care is a lot more cost effective than waiting until problems become bigger. You might particularly consider this if you have insurance benefits or are squeamish about large operations such as root canals.
Here is what to expect when going for a dental checkup.
1. A medical history
As you arrive, a dental professional will begin to ask you questions to learn more about your oral health. You’ll also provide information about the medications you take, and whether you partake in the consumption of alcohol or cigarettes.
There might also be questions about current medical treatment, as well as your previous dental work. By asking all of these questions, your dental profession will have a solid grounding for building a treatment plan that works for you.
2. Physical examinations
The next step involves a detailed examination of not just your teeth, but also your gums, jaw and facial structures. Often X-ray machines are used which help identify anything unusual that the dental professional cannot see with their own eyes. There could be full-mouth x-rays conducted as well as checks for any discoloration on the gums. At this stage, it’s important to note that the risk of damaging exposure to radiation from x-rays is low.
3. Dental cleaning
Following the physical check up, a teeth cleaning usually follows. This is designed to help clear any plaque and tartar that remains on your teeth. Although we all take care to brush our teeth really well before a dental checkup, no amount of brushing will remove the tartar that develops when plaque is left for too long on our teeth. That’s why we need a dental professional to remove it. Once this has been removed, the dental professional will also polish your teeth to ensure that they maintain their sparkle.
4. Oral cancer screening
There have been a rising number of oral cancer cases in recent years, which has made many dentists add a screening to their dental exams. If this is not identified early, it can develop quickly and begin to endanger the life of the individual. But if found early, it can be easily treated.
Your dental professional has had the proper training to detect the tell-tale signs of the condition. They do this by examining the areas around your jaws, as well as the soft areas of the inside of your mouth.
5. Finally: recommendations
Following the examinations and teeth cleanings, your dental professional will now spend some time explaining their findings with you. It is at this stage they will recommend at-home care which will help you maintain your dental health, or even an expert if you have a condition which requires specialist treatment.
Your dental health is a very important piece in the jigsaw of your overall health. This year, to ensure you don’t neglect it, schedule a dental checkup with us today. We’re on hand to make 2020 your healthiest year yet!