Brushing and flossing regularly are crucially important to keeping your oral health in peak condition, but good habits at home are not enough by themselves. A routine visit with your dentist can provide a more comprehensive cleaning, and essential feedback on the state of your oral health. Your dental hygienist can clean your teeth with tools that can remove stubborn tartar that brushing and flossing alone will not eliminate. Your dentist can also inspect your oral cavity to look for evidence of problems that you might not have noticed. Detecting and diagnosing a problem early can prevent you from requiring more invasive restorative treatments.
Plaque and Tartar
Plaque is the accumulation of bacteria in your mouth, which can attack your teeth, and your gums. Brushing and flossing regularly can rid your mouth of plaque. However, if plaque goes untreated, it can harden into tartar. During a routine visit, your hygienist can identify, and remove, tartar that has built up in your mouth. Because plaque can accumulate in areas that are harder to reach, like the space in between your teeth, you may leave plaque behind even when you perform preventive measures like brushing and flossing your teeth at home.
Screening For Your Oral Health
When you see your dentist for a routine checkup, you can receive a thorough examination of your oral health, to determine what problems, if any, have developed. If you only visit your dentist when you are experiencing discomfort, the necessary treatments to remedy your ailment may be more invasive. An untreated cavity can potentially destroy your tooth, and can require a root canal treatment. Your dentist can also inspect your mouth for evidence of oral cancer, a serious disease that affects many Americans each year.