We Hoosiers are tough. We know how to handle just about anything that comes our way! We are ready for any kind of weather, from dangerously hot to dangerously cold. We can drive just about any vehicle you throw our way, and we are always ready to lend a helping hand to a friend or neighbor.
We are tough, and that usually works to our advantage. Sometimes, however, we let our tough nature get the better of us, and we convince ourselves that we don’t need to follow recommendations set by healthcare professionals. A Hoosier is ready to “walk it off” or “tough it out.”
Today, we are talking about routine dental check-ups, and there is no better place to witness this attitude than dental exams. Patients convince themselves all the time that they don’t need to come in every six months because their teeth are just fine! And it could be true! Your teeth might feel fine, but that’s not really the point of a dental check-up!
Let’s take some time to discuss the point of check-ups and how often you REALLY need to come in. You might be surprised by what you find out!
How Often is Often Enough?
By now, you should know the rule. You need to come in for a dental cleaning and exam every six months. We base that on the average time it takes bacteria to cycle through so that we give you enough time to make your cleaning worthwhile without putting your gums or teeth at risk of prolonged exposure to harmful bacteria.
The Six Month Model Isn’t for Everyone
However, even though six months is the rule, it isn’t for everyone! There are exceptions. In some cases, we might need to see a patient every four months. Still others need to be seen every two months. These patients come in more often because they are in a situation where their body cannot fight bacteria on its own for one reason or another. We get to know these patients really, really well!
But for most, the six month model is completely on the money. As we mentioned above, we want you to have time to actually need a cleaning, but if you stay away longer than six months, you are putting your smile at risk for gum infection or tooth decay.
What to Expect During Your Appointment
Maintaining routine dental check-ups is the difference between a long-lasting, healthy smile and a smile that will never last to the end of your days. These simple, short appointments are the key to oral health! Not sure what to expect when you go? Let’s take a look at the major parts to most dental exams.
Cleaning: The first task is to clean your teeth. After six months, you have built up plaque along the gumline of your teeth. We will remove that sticky or solidified plaque from your teeth and below the gumline, which will remove harmful bacteria from your mouth. We generally end your cleaning with a nice polishing of your teeth so you leave the office feeling nice and clean!
X-rays: An important part of your check-up is the X-rays. We generally only take these every other appointment. We use these images to check the health of your tooth roots. We can see what is going on deep below the gumline to ensure that your teeth are healthy from crown to root.
Exam: Once your teeth are clean, we will do a dental exam. There are many parts to this, but in general, we are checking to make sure that your teeth are strong and capable of functioning. We will check old fillings, look for signs of decay, and check that your gums are healthy.
Oral Cancer Screening: Every patient will also receive an oral cancer screening. This is our way of looking out for you! Oral cancer is treatable if it is caught early, which is why we check each patient!
How You Will Benefit from the Appointment
Now that you know what to expect, you might be wondering how exactly YOU will benefit. We believe that every patient will have a favorite part of the dental appointment, but that depends on what is important to you. Let’s take a look at a few benefits that you might not be considering!
Feel Clean and Confident
Leaving from a dental appointment is kind of like getting out of the shower after a long day of working outside. You feel CLEAN and that gives you confidence. Having clean teeth will make you feel better than you might realize, just like that shower gives you a boost of energy that you didn’t know was possible.
Catch Problems Early
If you hate dental work, you should definitely come in for your semi-annual appointments! We know that sounds counter-intuitive, but let us explain. The best way to catch problems before they turn into serious dental work is to come to the office regularly! Even cavities can be downgraded to a piece of cake when you are coming in for routine cleanings and exams.
Reduce Risk of Disease
Gum disease is a real threat. It has links to many types of systemic health conditions, but we can help you reduce that risk considerably through routine appointments! By clearing your mouth of those harmful bacteria every six months, you are giving your smile a chance to stay free from infection, which will reduce your risk of other complications!
Make Your Appointment Today!
Routine dental appointments are the key to maintaining a healthy, confident smile. Don’t wait set up your next exam! Contact us today through phone or the website. We would love to help you find a time that is convenient for you.
Once you’re here, we will help you have a fantastic appointment! You’ll wonder why you avoided the dentist at all! We hope to see you very soon!