Have you ever wondered why we schedule your routine checkups every six months? Even most dental insurance plans provide coverage for two routine cleanings a year. Just what makes 6 months the magic number for going to the dentist? You should know that a lot more than just teeth cleaning happens at each one of these appointments, and they are very important to your overall health. That’s why Texas Dental follows the American Dental Association’s recommendations for checkups at these intervals.
Why Do You Need Regular Cleanings?
Plaque and tartar start to build up on your teeth as soon as you leave the dentist after a cleaning. For the average person — someone who does not smoke, takes care of their teeth at home, and does not eat too many sweet or acidic foods — there will likely be enough plaque and tartar built up on your teeth after 6 months for the hygienist to scrape off. If plaque and tartar are allowed to accumulate, damage to the gums starts to occur and irreversible bone loss around the teeth begins.
What’s Involved in a Dental Checkup?
In a routine checkup, our hygienist will check to see how good you are doing with taking care of your teeth at home. Next, he or she will clean, polish, and floss your teeth. Your hygienist may take the time to talk about home care and give suggestions or pointers on what can be better if needed. We may also need to take X-rays as part of the exam. The hygienist will then talk to the dentist about anything she or he has observed before beginning the next part of the checkup.
What Does the Dentist Do?
One of our dentists will examine your gums looking for any sign of gum disease and check the tissues, including your tongue, for abnormalities. We then examine each tooth looking for loose or cracked teeth, evidence of tooth decay, or damaged fillings. We will also evaluate your bite and the contact between your teeth to make sure nothing has changed from your last visit. Finally, we’ll make any recommendations for any additional work that needs to be done to maintain great dental health.
By having this thorough examination done on a regular basis, two times (or more if needed) per year, you can ensure that your teeth and gums stay healthy. This magic number is not really so magic at all when you consider everything that happens in one short visit, so be sure to contact us to schedule your 6-month checkup at one of our two locations in San Antonio!