The basic tenets of good dental hygiene and preventive care are generally simple to follow. For example, brushing your teeth twice and flossing at least once every day typically only takes a few minutes each time. Also, routine visits to your dentist are generally six months apart, making it easy to plan ahead and make time for each visit. However, despite their simplicity, these basic principles are also easy to neglect, or at least easy for people to become so accustomed to that they forget the importance of sticking to them diligently. Today, we reexamine the importance of good dental hygiene, and what routine checkups and cleanings mean for your smile in the long run.
Removing the bacteria you missed on your teeth
When you brush and floss your teeth every day, the point is to remove the buildup of oral bacteria that develops on them throughout every day and night. This buildup, known as dental plaque, will always form on your teeth, as the bacteria that cause it naturally inhabit your mouth. Keeping your teeth clean is essential in preventing certain types of oral bacteria from leading to serious problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease. Yet, it’s natural to miss a spot of plaque once in a while, and unfortunately, this can allow the plaque to calcify into tartar and become impervious to your toothpaste and water. Professional dental cleaning is the only way to remove tartar and prevent the bacteria it harbors from harming your teeth, gums, or more.
Checking for signs of developing concerns
Because it’s natural to miss some spots of dental plaque once in a while, it’s also natural for some people to be more at-risk for oral health concerns than others. For example, once plaque calcifies into tartar, your risks are automatically higher because you can’t remove the tartar buildup on your own. In addition to removing this buildup, another important part of your checkup and cleaning appointments includes your dentist thoroughly examining your teeth and oral tissues for signs of existing concerns. Addressing tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health concerns as early as possible is the best way to mitigate any threat they may pose to your teeth, oral tissues, and overall oral health.
Improving your chances of avoiding further treatment
If your dentist notices signs of trouble during your dental checkup, then early detection is only beneficial if you seek treatment for the problem as soon as possible. This makes your routine checkups even more important, as you may not notice the early symptoms and signs of common dental concerns on your own until they become more severe. By sticking to a consistent schedule of checkup and cleaning appointments, you have a better chance of preventing oral health concerns or addressing them before they require more extensive treatment.