Barry H. Buchanan, DDS logo

Do I really need dental checkups every six months?

dentist DallasSome patients feel like it’s an unnecessary chore to see their dentist every six months, but it is important for you to get exams and professional cleanings at such regular intervals to keep your smile as healthy as possible.

Most oral diseases, like cavities and gum disease, are progressive. That is, they begin in a relatively mild form but become more severe if they are untreated as time passes. When you see your dentist twice a year, it’s much more likely that any issues will be identified in their earliest, most treatable stages. When you delay such care, these conditions might not be diagnosed until they are relatively advanced and require a more invasive intervention.

In some cases, these conditions can actually be life-threatening. Oral cancer has a very poor prognosis when diagnosed after it has already spread to surrounding tissue. However, when a dentist does an oral cancer screening at each routine visit, your chances of detecting a malignancy early are much greater.

Furthermore, the professional cleanings that you receive at these routine appointments play an important role in maintaining your oral health. Even if you brush and floss every day like clockwork, you still may accumulate plaque and tartar in areas of your teeth that it’s difficult to reach on your own. However, a hygienist is able to access those parts of your smile more easily for a thorough cleaning.

Even if you do get exams and cleanings on schedule every six months, you still need to take good care of your smile at home. Make sure you are brushing twice a day, for two minutes at a time and using proper technique. Daily flossing is also critical to minimizing bacteria along your gumline, where they can cause inflammation that puts both the soft tissue and the underlying bone at risk.

Routine dental exams and cleanings aren’t merely superfluous tasks on your to-do list. They’re essential elements of preserving a healthy smile.

If it’s been more than six months since your last check-up, call our office today to get back on track.