Dental check-ups and professional teeth cleaning play a major role in keeping your teeth and gums healthy and giving you a good-looking smile.
The importance of dental exams and cleanings goes further than that, though. They also benefit your general health. Oral health issues such as cavities and gum disease can lead to damage in other areas of your body.
For instance, if you have a tooth that’s become painful through decay, you may have to avoid certain foods, posing a risk of malnutrition. Infection from tooth decay and gum disease can also spread throughout your body, causing flu-like symptoms or even attacking vital organs.
Regular check-ups can avoid issues like these by enabling early treatment to prevent a dental problem from becoming serious.
Routine dental appointments for a check-up usually include a professional cleaning by your dentist or dental hygienist, which will get rid of accumulations of harmful bacteria, plaque and tartar that lead to cavities and gum disease.
However, although a vital part of your oral healthcare, check-ups and cleanings can’t prevent damage to your mouth through physical trauma sustained in accidents or by other unforeseen circumstances such as biting on a piece of food too hard or biting your tongue.
So, it’s a good idea to check that your dental practice is equipped to provide emergency dental care – you never know when you might need it!
Benefits of Dental Exams
Your routine dental exam can help to nip oral health problems in the bud before they have the chance to take hold and cause serious issues.
Your check-up will allow for prompt treatment if you’re showing early signs of:
- Tooth decay.
- Gum disease.
- Yeast infection of the mouth.
- Oral cancer.
Your dentist will also be checking your mouth for symptoms of issues in other areas of your body, including indications of:
- Kidney issues.
Benefits of Dental Cleanings
Like dental exams, professional teeth cleaning helps to prevent tooth decay and gum disease and the potential spread of infection beyond your mouth.
Even if you brush and floss regularly, bacterial plaque can quickly build up on your teeth, increasing the risk of cavities and gum infection.
A dental cleaning eliminates these deposits and also gets rid of tartar – hardened plaque that only a dental professional can remove.
A dental cleaning will also give your mouth a freshly-polished feeling that can only be achieved with professional attention – and a gleaming smile you’ll be proud to show off!
Your teeth can easily become discoloured, especially if you smoke or drink a lot of wine, tea or coffee. Teeth can also take on a yellow appearance through erosion of enamel. A professional cleaning can blitz built-up stains and help to keep tooth enamel strong and healthy.
In restoring your smile, professional teeth cleaning helps to maintain your self-confidence – you won’t be embarrassed to reveal your teeth when you speak, smile or laugh.
Dental Exams Can Prevent Long-Term Damage
Treatment for a dental crisis consists of immediate short-term measures to relieve pain and avoid permanent damage. You’ll almost certainly need follow-up dental care, though, for a full, long-term recovery.
Without prompt treatment, a dental emergency can result in serious complications. For example, a bad tooth infection like an abscess can be life-threatening. In cases like this, emergency dental care will include prescription of antibiotics to help your immune system kill or slow the growth of bacteria.
You may also find yourself in need of emergency dental care in the event of damage to your mouth that causes:
- Cuts to your tongue or gums, causing heavy bleeding.
- Dislodged tooth.
- Fractured tooth.
Sometimes, emergency dental treatment will necessitate extraction of a tooth. In other cases, it may be possible to save a tooth, even if it’s been knocked out. The best chance of saving a tooth is if it’s reinserted by a dentist within one hour. Take the tooth with you to your emergency dentist in a container of milk or salted water.
How You Can Avoid Some Dental Emergencies
You can help to avoid a dental emergency like a severe infection by having a dental exam and cleaning every six months. These preventive dentistry measures are crucial in stopping problems before they start.
Some emergency dentists have a strong focus on preventive measures like check-ups and cleanings to help their patients avoid the need for urgent treatment.
You can maximize the benefits of dental exams and teeth cleanings – and minimize the risk of at least some dental emergencies – by maintaining a thorough routine of dental hygiene at home, including brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily.