Routine dental care is about much more than keeping your teeth looking white. Routine dental care can actually protect your oral health in a number of ways. Getting to those appointments twice per year can provide you with benefits all year long. Three important ways that routine dental care protects your oral health is by removing plaque and tartar, catching signs of decay early on, and identifying gum disease in the early stages.
Remove plaque and tartar
Plaque is a film that can develop on your teeth. You can fight back against plaque on a daily basis by brushing thoroughly, flossing regularly, and using toothpaste and mouthwash designed to prevent plaque. Even with those efforts, most people still miss some plaque on their teeth. When plaque remains on your teeth it will eventually harden over time. Plaque that has hardened is called tartar. Tartar cannot be removed by brushing or flossing – it must be scraped off. Plaque can make your teeth look dull and discolored. Tartar along your gumline can irritate your gums and lead to gum disease. During routine dental appointments your teeth will receive a thorough cleaning to remove built up plaque and tartar
Catch signs of decay early on
Going to your routine dental care appointments on the right schedule allows you to catch signs of decay early on. The earliest stages of tooth decay may not be noticeable to you in your everyday life. You can have the beginnings of decay in a tooth without experiencing pain. During your routine dental visits your dentist will check all of your teeth for signs of decay. This is done through a visual inspection, using tools to find areas of weakness in your teeth, and with the help of imaging. These methods can help your dentist catch decay very early on so you can treat it before it progresses.
Identify gum disease in the early stages
Gum disease is another oral health issue that your dentist will look for during routine dental care appointments. Gum disease can cause pain, bleeding gums, receding gums, and in severe cases, tooth loss. The good news is that the early stage of gum disease can typically be reversed by improving your oral hygiene habits. If your dentist notices signs of gum disease during a routine appointment, you can take steps to improve your oral hygiene routine and reverse the condition.
Getting routine dental care is a key component of protecting your oral health. When you combine a high-quality daily oral care routine with regular preventative appointments it gives you the best chance of maintaining your oral health. If it has been a while since your last routine dental appointment, get one set up as soon as possible in order to protect your oral health.