If you have to think harder than usual to remember your last dental checkup and cleaning appointment, then it’s probably time for you to schedule your next one. General guidelines say you should visit your dentist at least once every six months, but many patients go much longer between visits, especially if they don’t sense anything wrong with their teeth. The problem is, procrastinating can let dental issues linger long before you notice them, leading to more significant concerns and the need for extensive treatment.
Professional Help Cleaning Your Teeth
A checkup and cleaning is a two-part preventive process that involves thoroughly cleaning and inspecting your teeth. Even if you brush and floss your teeth diligently twice every day, you’re still likely to miss a spot of plaque here and there. Over time, those spots will calcify into tartar, which you can’t remove with your toothbrush, and increase your risks of issues like cavities and gum disease. Professional cleanings are the only way to effectively remove tartar before oral bacteria can lead to trouble.
Looking for Signs You Can’t See Yourself
In addition to cleaning your teeth, your visits also include a comprehensive examination of your teeth, gums, jaw, and oral structures to look for signs of developing trouble. Early warnings of tooth decay and gum disease might not be easy to spot on your own, but routine examinations will increase the chances that your dentist will catch them in their earliest stages. Early detection and treatment is the next-best thing to prevention, and can help you avoid extensive dental treatment even if one or more issues are already present.