How Important is a Dental Checkup?

Many people only see a health provider when something is bothering them, and this is especially true with dentist visits. Until your teeth hurt or you’re having a problem with your mouth, it’s easy to forget to keep a regular schedule with your dentist. Even people with excellent oral hygiene still need to visit their dentist regularly. But how often should you go, and what’s it really like?

Comprehensive Dentistry in Reston, VA

Reston, VA dentist Dr. Datta Malyavantham and his team at Ridgetop Dental recommend seeing a dentist every 6 months for a dental cleaning and examination. Your comprehensive visit includes the following:

  • Complete oral exam including teeth and gums
  • Digital x-rays for diagnosis of decay and disease
  • Dentist consultation
  • Oral cancer screening
  • Treatment plan discussion and recommendation

There are two main parts to a dental visit: the checkup and cleaning. During the checkup, your dentist will check for cavities, take X-rays to detect cavities between your teeth, and check for plaque and tartar on your teeth. Your gums will also be checked with a special tool to measure the depth of the spaces between your teeth and gums to evaluate whether you may be at risk of gum disease. Your dentist should also check your tongue, throat, face, head, and neck for any swelling or redness which could be a sign of mouth or throat cancer.

Why Do I Need A Professional Teeth Cleaning?

Plaque is a clear, sticky layer of bacteria that have broken down leftover food particles in the mouth. After a while, plaque hardens and becomes tartar, which cannot be removed with brushing alone. Even if you brush twice a day and floss regularly, you still need to see a professional hygienist to have your teeth cleaned to get hardened plaque off of the teeth. If left untreated, this tartar can cause extensive tooth decay and gum disease, which are linked to heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

Regular Teeth Cleaning in Reston, VA

The American Dental Association recommends seeing a dentist every 6 months for a regular cleaning and checkup to keep ahead of any issues that may arise. If you maintain good oral hygiene at home and keep up with these regular appointments, your cleaning and exam should take less than a half hour. Keeping up with these appointments will help you avoid potentially expensive and uncomfortable dental work, so contact our office online or by phone at (571) 313-7010 today.