Why Visit the Dentist Regularly
Why visit the Dentist every six to twelve months?
Your smile is yours for life. Be proud of it.
At Northern beaches dental we are in the business of creating beautiful smiles that last a lifetime. This includes your oral hygiene.
Our resident Dental team advise all patients to visit the clinic every 6 to 12 months for a routine check-up and clean. This includes an extended exam of your mouth, clean, scale and polish of your teeth and gums.
Dental cleanings involve removing plaque (soft, sticky, bacteria infested film) and tartar (calculus) deposits that have built up on the teeth over time. Your teeth are continually bathed in saliva which contains calcium and other substances which help strengthen and protect the teeth. While this is a good thing, it also means that we tend to get a build-up of calcium deposits on the teeth. This chalky substance will eventually build up over time, like limescale in a pipe or kettle. Usually it is tooth coloured and can easily be mistaken as part of the teeth, but it also can vary from brown to black in colour.
If the calculus (tartar, as dentists like to call it) is allowed to accumulate on the teeth it will unfortunately provide the right conditions for bacteria to thrive next to the gums. The purpose of the cleaning and polishing is basically to leave the surfaces of the teeth clean and smooth so that bacteria are unable to stick to them and you have a better chance of keeping the teeth clean during your regular home care.
The professional cleaning of teeth is sometimes referred to as prophylaxis. It’s a Greek word which means “to prevent beforehand” – in this case, it helps prevent gum disease.
Is it going to be painful?
Most people find that cleanings are painless, and find the sensations described above – tickling vibrations, the cooling mist of water, and the feeling of pressure during “scraping” – do not cause discomfort. A lot of people even report that they enjoy cleanings and the lovely smooth feel of their teeth afterwards! There may be odd zingy sensations, but many people don’t mind as they only last a nanosecond.
Be sure to let your dentist/hygienist know if you find things are getting too uncomfortable for your liking. They can recommend various options to make the cleaning more enjoyable.
Painful cleaning experiences can be caused by a number of things: a rough dentist or hygienist, exposed dentine (not dangerous, but can make cleanings unpleasant), or sore gum tissues.
What will happen if I don’t visit often?
There are many issues that can arise with not having your routine check-ups that you may not be able to detect on your own. These can be:
Cavities (tooth decay)
A cavity is when holes form in parts of the enamel of a tooth. A main cause of cavities is due to a build-up of plaque. The bacteria in the plaque react with sugars and starches in food to form acids. The acids are kept next to the teeth by the sticky plaque and dissolve the tooth enamel. If you have tooth decay you may need fillings, crowns or inlays.
Gum disease (periodontal disease)
Gum disease means infection or inflammation of the tissues that surround the teeth. Most cases of gum disease are plaque-related. Plaque contains many different types of bacteria and a build-up of some types of bacteria is associated with developing gum disease.
Depending on the severity, gum disease is generally divided into two types – gingivitis and periodontitis:
- Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums. There are various types. However, most cases of gingivitis are caused by plaque.
- Periodontitis occurs if gingivitis becomes worse and progresses to involve the tissue that joins the teeth to the gums (the periodontal membrane).
Gum disease is the most common cause of loose teeth and tooth loss in adults. It is also a main cause of bad breath (halitosis). However, gum disease is often treatable.
Oral Cancer Screening
With ant form of cancer it is best to catch it early. At your Routine check-ups we check for early signs of Oral Cancer in the mouth.
These are a few reasons why it is important to visit your Dentist regularly. Now you know why we recommend coming back for your check-ups!