The American Dental Association recommends you see your dentist every six months, but have you ever wondered why? Regular dental visits are an essential part of keeping your teeth and gums healthy, but these checkups are about much more than oral health. Preventive dental care can play an integral role in supporting total mouth and body health, and can also reduce the risk of needing costly or complicated dental work in the future. Here at Cashmere Family Dentistry, we support the dental health and overall health of our patients. We want you to be the best version of yourself you can be! We’re going to take a closer look at why regular dental cleanings are so important below, but first, let’s go over what happens during a visit with us.
Dental visits with Cashmere Family Dentistry
During a checkup visit, our dentists will do more than simply clean your teeth, which is just one part of a complete dental examination. We will also evaluate the health of your gums, perform a head and neck examination to look for anything out of the ordinary, plus examine your mouth for any indications of oral cancer, diabetes, or vitamin deficiencies. We may also examine your face, bite, saliva, and the movement of your lower jaw joints (TMJs). In fact, a regular checkup is probably far more in-depth than you realized. Here’s a breakdown of what it will normally tend to include.
Head And Neck
- An examination of your face
- An examination of your neck
- Checking your lymph nodes
- Checking your lower jaw joints (TMJs)
Teeth and gums
- An examination of your gums
- Checking for signs of gum disease
- Checking for loose teeth
- Looking at the tissues inside of your mouth
- An examination of your tongue
- An evaluation of your bite
- Checking for any visual evidence of tooth decay
- Checking for broken teeth
- Checking for damaged fillings
- Observing if the gums are covering the teeth in any areas
- Evaluating any dental appliance you have
- Checking the contact between your teeth
- Possibly taking x-rays
- Observing the cleanliness of your teeth and gums
- Removing any plaque and tartar
- Polishing your teeth
- Flossing between your teeth
- Reviewing any recommended brushing and flossing techniques
Our team will pay close attention to any plaque and tartar during this cleaning, since it can build up quickly if you aren’t vigilant about your oral hygiene in between visits. If left untreated, soft plaque can eventually harden on your teeth, irritating the gum tissue and increasing your risk for gum disease. This is one reason we always stress the importance of maintaining a good dental hygiene routine at home!
Benefits of regular checkups and cleanings
It’s common knowledge that regular dental checkups and cleanings can help prevent tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. But did you know there are many different ways these visits can help maintain your overall health?
Reduce the risk of dementia
Poor dental hygiene can contribute to a significantly increased risk of developing dementia. Studies have compared adults who brush their teeth less than once a day to those who brush their teeth at least three times a day and found a 65% increase in dementia diagnoses. The risk factor is even higher for men who were missing all of their teeth and did not wear their dentures in order to chew food properly, dramatically increasing to over 90%. Getting your teeth cleaned by a dental professional every six months and practicing good hygiene in between appointments will go a long way towards reducing the risk of dementia.
Detect bad bites
Even if your teeth and gums are healthy, you could still have a bad bite. Crooked teeth, crossbites, overbites, and underbites can cause headaches, TMJ symptoms, muscle pain, and even affect your speech and ability to chew. Regular dental appointments can help detect these issues so that we can get you the best and most appropriate treatment for your specific case.
Detect oral cancer
Our dental checkups and cleanings always involve a visual check for any abnormalities, such as wounds that aren’t healing, or white or red spots in the mouth. If for any reason we suspect oral cancer, our doctors can administer other tests to learn more. Like all cancers, the earlier oral cancer is detected, the better the chances are for a full recovery. That’s why regular checkups are an important part of preventive care.
Detect or lower the risk for diabetes and diabetes-related problems
Chronically high blood sugar can affect your oral health, and individuals with diabetes often experience dental problems more frequently than those without diabetes. This includes a higher rate of dental infections, mouth sores that take a long time to heal, and more cases of gum disease, cavities, and tooth decay. Regular dental cleanings and checkups can help identify any oral health problems that may have their root in high blood sugar.
Help control halitosis
Bad breath is inevitable for all of us from time to time, but neglecting dental hygiene and regular dental cleanings are just an invitation for halitosis to set up shop in your mouth. When you eat, food begins the digestive process in your mouth. When the food particles mix with saliva, it creates a breeding ground for bacteria. If these food particles, plaque, and bacteria aren’t regularly removed, it can cause bad breath. Certain health conditions can also cause halitosis, including a dry mouth, diabetes, acid reflux, and problems with your kidneys or liver. A trip to the dentist’s office may be the first clue that there is an acute or chronic condition that needs attention and treatment.
Prevent gum disease
When teeth aren’t cared for at home, or regularly cleaned by a dental professional, gingivitis and periodontal disease can develop. Gum disease can create spaces between the teeth and the gum where bacteria is able to flourish. This can create gums that are swollen and tender, and they may bleed slightly after brushing. These pockets can also lead to painful abscesses. Regular dental cleanings can help keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy, and reduce the risk of developing gum disease.
Cashmere Family Dentistry will take good care of your teeth and gums
Cashmere Family Dentistry offers a variety of services, from general and cosmetic dentistry to specialized services such as tooth replacement, dental crowns, bridges, full and partial dentures, and dental implants. We firmly believe in the power of preventive treatment, and recommend all our patients make an effort to see us every six months for a thorough dental cleaning and checkup visit.
Drs. Janie and Ryan Busk are proud to treat patients of all ages from all over Washington, including Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, Cashmere, Quincy, Peshastin, Orondo, Entiat, Leavenworth, and other surrounding communities. If you’re ready to schedule your dental cleaning, give us a call at 509.761.6075. We look forward to giving you a sparkling smile and improved oral health!