Regular visits to the dentist are a key component of your oral hygiene routine. Here, our Winnipeg dentists explain why dental checkups and cleanings are so important.
You may think that if you brush and floss twice a day, you are doing enough to keep your teeth and gums clean, and so you don’t visit the dentist very often.
That fact is that no matter how thorough and careful you are when you brush and floss, plaque will still build up over time, and harden into tartar. As you probably know, this can lead to cavities and gum disease.
Your dentist and dental hygienist have the tools and expertise to give your teeth the deep cleaning they need to stay healthy.
Here are some of the tools your dentist will use to perform a cleaning:
Your dentist will use small hand-held mirrors to view the back surfaces of your teeth and the back of your mouth. These mirrors also reflect light, allowing your dentist to see calculus (tartar) deposits more easily.
Scalers are hand-held devices made of metal that your dentist or hygienist will use to scrape plaque and calculus off of your teeth. Scalers have two ends: a pointed one used on the section of the teeth above the gumline, and a curved, blunt one that is used to clean below the gum line without injuring the gums.
Once the plaque and calculus have been removed, your dentist or hygienist will use a polishing tool and a moderately abrasive paste to polish your teeth, making them look as white and shiny as possible.
Preventing Oral Disease
In addition to deep cleaning your teeth, your dentist and hygienist will perform a thorough oral exam (which may include x-rays) to determine whether you have, or are developing, any oral health problems.
There are many problems that your dentist and hygienist will be able to identify early on that you may not, because they require a trained eye and x-rays to spot. These include cavities, gingivitis, and even oral abnormalities like tumors and cysts.
How often should I visit the dentist?
For most people, dentists recommend having a cleaning and checkup twice a year – every six months, to be precise.
However, depending on your specific oral health needs, we may recommend you visit us more often than that.