Though we may brush and floss daily, it can be discouraging to still get cavities. However, it is important to understand that most cavities take 10-15 years before they are detectable in x-rays. This means that although one may have practiced excellent hygiene in recent years, those inconsistent habits of the past will catch up. In addition, if we are not scrupulous in making sure we can see and effectively brush the gum line, cavities will form. Dental decay and disease are mostly painless and go unnoticed until it is too late. For these reasons, scheduling six-month checkups and cleanings is vital to maintaining good oral health.
Every six months, you need a dental checkup so that Dr. Chen can evaluate the health of your mouth – including your teeth, gums, other soft tissues, jaw joints, and existing dental work. He’ll also evaluate your head and neck. Between one checkup and the next, you could develop tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, TMJ disorder, or other dental health concerns. By finding them early at a checkup, Dr. Chen can usually offer effective, minimally or non-invasive treatment options. Missing a checkup allows dental problems to grow more serious, which usually means more invasive and/or complex treatments are required to restore oral health.
At a cleaning, our hygienist will remove built-up plaque and tartar from your teeth. She will also measure the depths of pockets at your gum lines. If periodontal pockets extend deeper than 3mm, a deep cleaning may be required. Pockets of this or greater depth can indicate the presence of gum disease. If you don’t have periodontal pockets, a regular dental cleaning will be sufficient. You’ll leave this appointment with smooth, clean teeth. If you have questions about homecare products, flossing, or brushing, ask your hygienist for guidance. She’ll gladly help you!