Keeping Your Smile Healthy: The Importance of Routine Dental Check-Ups and Cleanings

Keeping Your Smile Healthy: The Importance of Routine Dental Check-Ups and Cleanings
June 1, 2023

What Are Dental Checkups?

They are routine visits to the dentist to assess the health of your teeth, gums, and overall oral cavity. During a dental checkup, a dentist will examine your teeth and gums, looking for any signs of oral problems and anomalies.

What Are Dental Cleanings?

They are dental procedures that remove plaque, tartar, and stains from the teeth. These treatments are also known as prophylaxis or teeth cleaning. During a dental cleaning, a dental hygienist or dentist uses specialized tools such as electric toothbrushes, scalers, and polishers to clean teeth.

Must Dental Checkups and Cleaning Be Done Routinely?

Both dental checkups and cleanings are preventive measures in general dentistry. Usually, dentists in general dentistry in Manteca, CA, advocate for routine evaluations and cleanings once every 6 months. If you have underlying health issues like gum disease or are a regular alcohol drinker or smoker, you may need to make more visits to a dental clinic near you, usually every 3 or 4 months.​

Benefits of Routine Dental Checkups and Cleanings

Regular dental cleanings and exams are important for maintaining good oral health and preventing dental problems. Some of the benefits of these procedures are:

  1. Preventing tooth decay and gum disease: Dental exams and cleanings catch early signs of tooth decay and gum disease before they become more serious problems.
  2. Early detection of oral cancer: Part of a dental exam entails oral cancer screening to check for signs of oral cancer.
  3. Maintaining good oral hygiene: Regular dental cleanings remove plaque and tartar buildup from teeth surfaces that often lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
  4. Saving money: Preventive dental care in a Manteca dental office is less expensive than restorative or emergency dental care in the future.
  5. Optimal body health: A clean and healthy mouth improves oral and overall health and quality of life.
  6. Fresh breath: Regular dental cleanings can remove bacteria from parts like your tongue and below the gum line, which often cause bad breath.
  7. Identifying other health problems: Your dentist may detect other health problems, such as diabetes, sleep apnea, or cardiovascular disease.

What Types of Dental Problems Can A General Dentist Diagnose And Treat?

General dentists near you are skilled, experienced, and trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of dental problems during routine checkups. Some of the most common dental problems are:

  1. Tooth decay and dental cavities: Early signs of cavities in your teeth include blackening and sensitivity. Treatment typically involves dental fillings or tooth extractions.
  2. Gum disease: This involves checking for symptoms like inflammation, bleeding, reddening, and gum recession. Treatment typically involves deep dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar buildup and promote gum healing.
  3. Oral cancer: General dentists can recognize the signs and symptoms of oral cancer during an oral cancer screening.
  4. Tooth infections: If you have a tooth infection, your general dentist will detect it and perform a root canal to remove the infected pulp and restore the tooth’s health.
  5. Teeth grinding: General dentists can diagnose and treat teeth grinding, which causes damage to your teeth and jaw.

​How Can Patients Maintain Good Oral Hygiene Between Dental Appointments?

Once you leave the dental clinic near you, take action to care for your mouth to maintain healthy teeth and gums and prevent dental problems. Some tips for good oral hygiene between dental appointments at Valley View Dental – Manteca are:

  1. Brush teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Ensure you are brushing for at least two minutes, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and circular motions to reach all surfaces of the teeth and gums.
  2. Floss daily to clean between teeth and along the gum line. It is essential for removing food particles and plaque from between teeth that a toothbrush cannot reach.
  3. Use an antiseptic mouthwash once a day after brushing and flossing to freshen your breath and promote oral health. Mouthwash kills bacteria that cause bad breath and gum disease.
  4. Eat a healthy and balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals to help strengthen teeth and gums. Also, limit sugary and acidic foods and drinks, which can cause tooth decay and enamel erosion.
  5. Drink plenty of water to rinse away food particles and bacteria from the mouth. Water will also promote saliva production, important for neutralizing acid and preventing tooth decay.
  6. Avoid smoking and other tobacco products to promote oral and overall health. Smoking can stain teeth, cause bad breath, and increase the risk of gum disease and oral cancer.