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Dental checkups should be an important part of everyone’s regular healthcare routine. Getting regular checkups will let you catch potential dental issues early on, so you can treat them effectively. Unfortunately, many people skip their regular dental checkups, only going to see their dentist in Virginia Beach when they have a serious tooth problem. Most patients should come to the dentist for a checkup every six months. Those who have recurring oral health problems may need to return more often. Here’s why it’s so important to get a dental checkup regularly.

Oral Cancer Detection

One of the most important reasons to get a dental checkup on a regular basis is to prevent oral cancer from developing. During your checkup, your dentist can conduct a screening for oral cancer, which takes just a few minutes to do. Since dentists are trained to actively look for these signs, they can catch the problem in its early stages, before it becomes too difficult to treat. Oral cancer can spread very quickly if it’s not treated. If you’re not going to the dentist often, there’s a chance you won’t catch it in time.

 In addition to looking at your mouth, your dentist will assess the rest of your head, jawline, and neck during your checkup. In particular, they will look at your lymph nodes for any signs of abnormality. If they notice any suspicious abnormalities, they will conduct the appropriate screenings to determine what is going on. They will also refer you to other medical professionals for further screenings if necessary. You don’t want to take any chances when it comes to cancer detection, so regular checkups will help you catch the problem early.

Gum Disease Screening

Another important reason to get a checkup twice a year is to monitor the health of your gums. Over time, the plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth can start to break down your gum tissues. This is called gingivitis, and it can be very uncomfortable and cause bacteria to linger in the mouth. The gums will start to pull away from the teeth, and they will often start to swell or even bleed. This is often caused by plaque that builds up in the deep crevices of the teeth and gums that your toothbrush can’t reach. The bacteria irritates your gums, which causes them to start swelling. They’ll be more sore and tender, which is why they might bleed when you brush your teeth.

During your checkup, your dentist will screen you for gingivitis and gum disease, which is the furthest progression of the gum infection. If you have developed these problems, your dentist will help you develop a treatment plan for them. This may require further appointments for monitoring. If your gums are healthy, your dentist will still go over your daily dental routine with you to ensure they stay that way. Gingivitis and gum disease are treatable, but it can take several months for symptoms to subside. Getting a checkup every six months will ensure that you start gingivitis treatment as soon as symptoms appear.

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Plaque and Tartar Removal

Over time, plaque and tartar builds up on your teeth as a result of the things you’re eating and drinking. When you brush and floss at home, you’ll remove some plaque from your teeth, but it’s incredibly difficult to remove all of it on your own. Tartar forms as the plaque attaches to your teeth and forms a deposit. Tartar cannot be removed on your own at home, and it also serves as a breeding ground for unhealthy bacteria. Plaque and tartar buildup can cause bad breath if you don’t maintain a healthy oral hygiene routine and get check ups regularly.

 During the checkup, your dentist will go through and remove all of the plaque and tartar buildup from each of your teeth. They’ll use a small tool that gets rid of plaque that a toothbrush would be unable to reach. During the cleaning, they’ll also check for any cavities. Cavities are small holes in the teeth that can form as a result of plaque buildup. If you do have any cavities, your dentist can put in a filling, which strengthens the teeth and prevents the cavity from spreading. Even if you don’t have cavities, your dentist may recommend a sealant to protect your teeth from damage in the future. With frequent checkups, you’ll get your plaque and tartar removed so your teeth will feel healthier and more comfortable. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing that your breath is fresh and that bacteria isn’t breaking down the structure of your teeth.

X-Rays

During your checkup, your dentist will also conduct an x-ray. X-rays will take a look at the bones in your head and jaw, and they can help your dentist catch problems that they might not otherwise have spotted. During an x-ray, your dentist will be able to catch any tooth or bone decay below the surface, and they can also spot cysts or tumors that need to be removed. Regular dental x-rays will help you catch problems early, so you can treat them and get back to having a healthy and comfortable smile. Checkups are crucial for prevention – early treatment can help prevent tooth loss later in life, and will help keep you feeling healthier for longer.

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Bright, Straight Smile

Checkups are about more than just the way your teeth feel – they can also help you get your teeth looking great. If you’re not happy with the way your smile looks, a checkup is the perfect time to discuss this with your dentist. If your teeth are looking dull, your dentist can polish them to give them a brighter, shinier look. They can also recommend their favorite teeth whitening products or even help you with professional teeth whitening services, which are the most effective for removing stains and brightening the color of your teeth.

During a checkup, you can also talk about other cosmetic services to help your teeth look straighter or more aesthetically appealing. If your teeth aren’t straight or have started to move, they can refer you to an orthodontist for braces. A checkup is also the perfect opportunity to discuss tooth removal and replacements if you have a tooth that has been giving you serious health problems. Your dentist can perform an extraction and then use an implant to get your smile looking healthy again. This is also the perfect time to discuss crowns or veneers, which can make your teeth look smoother and more symmetrical. Getting a regular checkup gives you more opportunities to check in with your expert dental team and keep your smile looking bright and healthy. When your smile looks great, you’ll feel great – it’s always a confidence boost to have a bright, healthy smile.

Dental Health Education

Another reason why dental checkups are so important is because they give you an opportunity to talk to your dentist about the best ways to take care of your teeth. Dental tools and technology are always evolving, and your dentist can recommend the best ways to take care of your teeth. They will share their favorite brands for toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, and more, helping you develop a dental routine that makes the most sense for you. They can also answer any questions you may have about dental care and put your mind at ease about your oral health. Many people experience feelings of nervousness when they go in for a teeth cleaning. Dentists know how to help their patients deal with their nerves and have a comfort experience. Overcoming dental anxiety with sedation dentistry is an easy way to deal with nerves and have a more comfortable procedure. Sedation dentistry involves lightly sedating the patient during their procedures so they can relax.

Dental health education is particularly important for kids and teenagers, who are still learning how to take care of their teeth. It’s crucial to take your kids in for regular checkups, not only so that they can get their teeth cleaned, but also so they can get used to regular cleanings and learn the right dental habits for adulthood. You can even make going to the dentist a family outing, so you all get your cleanings together. When your kids are used to getting regular cleanings and understand the importance of oral hygiene, they’ll be more likely to continue taking good care of their teeth into adulthood.

Don’t skip your regular dental checkups – it can have serious negative consequences down the line. Finding a dentist you trust will make your biannual checkups much easier and more comfortable. Mill Dam Dental is the Virginia Beach dentist that your family can count on for clean and healthy teeth. We offer a comprehensive range of dental services, from checkups to root canals, tooth implants, whitening, and much more. We care about your comfort during your dental appointment, which is why we specialize in sedation dentistry. Contact us today to schedule your dental checkup in Virginia Beach!