05 Apr 5 Things You Need to Know About Your Dental Checkups
Teeth begin to form in the womb. We rely on our mother to take needed vitamins and eat well so teeth receive maximum benefits. Teeth typically start to emerge around the age of four to six months. The first visit to the dentist should occur around the age of one year and every six months thereafter.
Those twice yearly dental visits are very important to maintain excellent dental health. Daily brushing and flossing are important components as well … but your dental provider will:
- Remove plaque. Plaque starts out as a sticky substance that clings to bacteria already present in your mouth. Brushing twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste and flossing every day helps to keep plaque to a minimum, but over time plaque will harden on teeth. Plaque buildup can lead to dental decay and/or gum disease; the only way to remove it is with a professional dental cleaning.
- Take x-rays. Dental x-rays are a necessary diagnostic tool. X-rays of all your teeth are taken every three to five years. Bitewing x–rays are taken annually. Your dentist is looking for decay, fractures, and other problems not evident with a visual exam.
- Perform an oral cancer check. This is done to look for areas of concern. If there is a lesion or suspicious spot, your dentist can order a specimen be taken for biopsy.
- Offer preventive treatment if applicable … fluoride treatments or dental sealants are available to strengthen and protect teeth. Prevention is always a better option than having to deal with treatment like cavity repair.
- Give you an opportunity to ask questions. Be prepared when you visit your dentist with any questions or concerns you may have. If you are interested in teeth whitening, teeth straightening, or any form of cosmetic enhancement, this is the perfect opportunity to get the information you need.
Visiting your dentist every six months takes about one hour for each appointment. This is time well spent as waiting for a dental problem to occur can mean much costlier, time consuming treatment.
You can enhance your own oral prevention program by daily brushing and flossing; do not use tobacco; limit sugary snacks and beverages; drink lots of water daily; and keep those twice yearly visits with the dentist.
If it’s time to schedule your next dental exam, contact the office of Dr. Mark E. Massaro at 918-779-3399 today.