Have you ever wondered why it is important to go to the dentist once every six months for a checkup and professional cleaning? You may be thinking that your home dental hygiene is up to par and there really isn’t a need for the dentist. In case you are among the handful of Americans who think they’ve got their oral health care all taken care of, you may want to know these important facts about dental checkups and dental cleanings.

Some people think if they are not in pain, there are no problems in their mouths. In fact, in most dental cases, if you wait until you are in pain it may be too late to treat the problem, especially gum disease or a cavity. Others think that the older they get, the less apt they are to getting cavities. Tooth decay doesn’t care if you are young or old and can strike at any age. At regular dental checkups, your dentist and hygienist are doing much more than simply cleaning your teeth, they are looking for existing and potential problems that you can’t see.

Although there is a common misconception that it is okay to floss your teeth once a week, the ADA (American Dental Association) actually recommends flossing daily and brushing your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste for proper oral hygiene. If you fall short in any area of your home oral care, even if you are really good at it, you can’t always prevent the buildup of tarter on areas of your teeth and especially at the gum line. When tartar accumulates on your teeth, it can only be removed with a special tool from a trained dental hygienist or dental professional.

Sometimes, people think that if their teeth are white, they must be healthy. Again, there can be problems under the gum line or in the tight fitting places between your teeth. Having regular dental x-rays helps your dentist review the health of your teeth from the inside out. Having a healthy mouth is a key indicator of overall good health. Do yourself a favor, keep on brushing, but be sure to schedule your dental checkups and cleanings at least twice a year.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Juban, Juban Dental Care

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