When you leave The Richardson Dentist office after a cleaning and checkup, our front desk always makes sure to schedule your next appointment, six months down the road. Every six months? Is that really necessary? Isn’t having the dentist look inside your mouth once a year enough?
The short answer is: no. An unfortunate reality of dental health is that it doesn’t take very long for new problems to appear, and the sooner we identify and treat them, the better. You don’t want to give a cavity an extra six months to eat away at the enamel of your teeth.
We understand that no one really likes going to the dentist. Even when you’re confident that your teeth are in great shape, do you really want to sit for an hour while a hygienist pokes and scrapes your teeth and gum line?
But as the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Benjamin Franklin said that more than two hundred years ago, and it’s as true now as it was in his day. If you don’t have cleanings and checkups on a regular basis, you’re gambling with your dental health – and that can result in other health complications.
By now, we think you get the point. But here are three very good reasons to see us every six months:
- Plaque and tarter. Even brushing and flossing twice a day won’t get everything. There are areas that simply won’t be reached. Plaque and tartar has a way of settling into those areas, and should be removed frequently.
- Bad habits. When you see us on a regular basis, we have the chance to identify new problems that may appear. Additional stress in life may lead to teeth grinding or jaw clenching; the early stages of gum disease, not noticeable six months ago, may be plain to see. No matter the issue, early detection and early treatment are the best ways to treat it.
- Oral cancer check. You don’t have to be a smoker to get oral cancer, although tobacco use increases your risk. Once again, the sooner it is found, the better the chances of successful treatment and recovery.
During those six months between cleanings and checkups, remember to brush and floss your teeth twice a day!