If you’ve just had a perfect dental exam, why should you schedule another appointment so soon? The bottom line is that regular dental visits are absolutely essential to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. For maximum benefit, a good home care regimen must be supplemented with an oral examination and prophylaxis at least every six months. Depending on the status of your oral health, your dentist may recommend more frequent visits.
Who doesn’t remember as a child sitting in the dental chair, mouth open wide, fingers crossed, and eyes closed, thinking to yourself, “No cavities, no cavities, no cavities!” in an effort to will away any sneaky little spots of decay? Although many patients believe that checking for tooth decay is the primary reason for dental exams, it is, in fact, only a small part of a thorough oral exam. During each examination, your dentist also probes your gums to assess inflammation, tooth mobility, and periodontal pockets; examines your mouth for indications of cancer, diabetes, and vitamin deficiencies; and notes any irregularities in your facial structure, bite, saliva and temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Your dentist or hygienist also will clean your teeth, answer any questions you may have, and encourage you to maintain good oral hygiene, providing instruction as needed.