Preventative care is the primary focus of dentistry. It’s why the American Dental Association recommends that you take your child to visit your dentist as soon as he/she gets the first tooth, or before the first birthday, and follow up with regular dental visits, about twice per year or as advised by your dentist, for the rest of your life. These dental visits usually involve comprehensive oral examinations, professional cleanings, and consultation for potential treatment depending on the condition of your teeth, gums, and mouth.
Following the ADA guidelines, most dental plans cover two exams and two cleanings per year. People at high risk, however, may need more frequent cleanings and exams. Risk factors include:
- Gum disease
- Weak immune system
Importance of Keeping Your Dental Appointments
Even if you brush your teeth twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste and floss every day, this is not enough to get rid of all bacteria in your mouth. Plaque can still accumulate in the tiny pits, grooves, and crevices on your teeth, and over time, put your teeth at risk of decay in those areas that may result in tooth sensitivity, pain, or partial/total tooth loss.
It’s important that you and your loved ones schedule professional teeth cleanings to prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth, for your continued oral health. After your teeth cleaning and examination, the dentist will give you guidelines to follow to maintain optimal oral health until your next dental appointment.
These guidelines may involve:
- Maintaining or adjusting your dental routine
- Changing your flossing or brushing technique
- Changing bad oral habits
In addition, if any problems were found during the exam, your dentist will recommend appropriate treatments and book your appointment at a later date to deliver the treatment. If no problem was found, then you simply need to keep up your good daily dental routine.
Preventive care is the most affordable dental care, compared to restorative or cosmetic work. If you visit your dentist routinely for regular brushing and flossing is a smart investment that will save you a lot more down the road.