Preventive Dental Care

So, when was the last time you saw your dentist for a checkup?

If told that your teeth are healthy, you may not see the point of getting checkups every six months to clarify what you already know. Here is the thing: You may not know if your teeth are healthy or not if you don't go to the dentist every 6-months. Maybe you live in the mindset of "The less I know, the better." But unfortunately, dental care does not work that way. It may not affect you instantaneously or even a year from now. But it will eventually if there is an underlying issue that needs attention. You can reach a point where you experience oral pain and potential tooth loss depending on the severity of your condition. Plus, an emergency dental bill is more expensive than a biannual checkup. Even if you seek emergency dental care, it doesn’t mean the issue can be reversed or solved. Long story short: Yes, seeing your dentist twice a year and having to take off work or school is inconvenient. However, it’s better than the potential of a bad alternative.

Preventative dental care is essential to maintaining a beautiful and healthy smile. This means brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, and it does also mean seeing your dentist for an exam every six months. We know that visiting the dentist can be scary, but untreated dental issues can be even scarier. We love when you come to Santee Dental Group, we can tell you if your smile is happy and healthy. Sometimes that is not the case, but if you see us for routine checkups, we can find these issues as they arise and address them quickly. It’s less expensive and stressful to address minor issues than it is to address concerns as they’ve had time to advance and develop into more serious issues.

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Steps to prevent cavities from developing

Again, you may say that you have strong and healthy teeth so there’s no urgency to visit your dentist regularly. That may be the case but there are some things that even the strongest teeth can’t help but succumb to. One of those things is plaque/tartar. The longer tartar and plaque stay on your teeth, the more time bacteria has to cause cavities and tooth decay. You cannot fix a Cavity without the help of a dentist. While brushing your teeth helps prevent cavities from developing, there’s a lot of space on your teeth that your brush cannot reach. There are so many small corners and grooves around your teeth that should be cleaned with sharp precision tools that only your dentist can use properly. Your dentist also has a better view of the inside of your mouth than you do, so your dentist can see every little thing. It’s impossible to clean your teeth with just your toothbrush completely. This is also why it’s important to floss because you can floss in between your teeth, where your toothbrush’s bristles cannot reach. If you don’t floss, then you’re missing out on cleaning up to 40% more of your tooth’s surface.

These small steps of brushing and flossing your teeth help add up to keeping your smile happier and healthier in the long run, but adding dental checkups into that mix completes the list of things you can do that will prevent the most problems from wreaking havoc on your smile. Plus, does your smile ever feel cleaner than it does after a dental checkup? We promise that these hygiene appointments do more than you think they do, they’re truly helpful in prolonging the health of your smile.

Dental Checkup Procedure

Of course, every checkup starts with thoroughly cleaning your teeth by polishing, flossing, and cleaning off any plaque/tartar that your toothbrush wasn’t able to get off. If we feel it’s necessary, then we’ll take some x-rays to see if any hidden dental health issues aren’t visible. Then, we will conduct a full oral exam to see if there are any visible issues or concerns that should be addressed. Once we finish this, we will talk to you about how to solve any problems we found during your appointment or discuss treatments you have expressed interest in. Then we will come up with a plan on how to achieve your smile goals together while considering both your lifestyle and budget in mind.

As part of your checkup, your dentist might recommend fluoride treatments to strengthen your teeth, dental sealants to create a barrier between your enamel and bacteria, oral cancer screenings, and deep cleanings for patients with periodontal disease.

Again, preventative dental care is paramount in ensuring your smile stays happy and healthy. The best-case scenario is that your dentist can tell you that your smile is perfectly healthy and that no oral health concerns need to be addressed. You may be used to hearing which is always good to hear.

You may wonder what the point of these regular dental visits is, and the answer is because there is always the possibility that something may need to be addressed. This is why it’s so important to visit your dentist for a routine checkup every six months, that way we can tell you that you have nothing to be concerned about. Then after your checkups, you can safely know that your smile is indeed healthy.

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