As we get older, it becomes more and more important to maintain excellent oral health. This is because our teeth can become increasingly susceptible to dental disease with age, and a dental infection can spread to other areas of the body if left unaddressed.
Nowadays, thanks to ever-improving dental technology and treatments, people are keeping their natural teeth longer than ever before. Having regular dental visits can ensure that your teeth and overall oral health stay in great condition for a lifetime.
Regular oral exams allow your dentist to check for any signs of dental decay, gum disease, or infection. When these are caught early, treatment can be more effective in resolving the current issue and in preventing the issue from persisting in the future.
Why Should I Have Regular Dental Visits?
Your routine dental checkups will address these important dental issues:
Dental decay is more common with age. Consuming sugar can eventually lead to tooth decay because the sugars we eat get converted into acid in the mouth – which can then erode tooth enamel and cause cavities.
Sugar isn’t just found in desserts and candy. Fruit and fruit juices, breakfast cereals, and many processed foods can contain high levels of sugar. Coffee, tea, and alcohol can also erode tooth enamel.
Gum disease also referred to as a periodontal disease, is a leading cause of tooth loss in adults. The risk of gum disease increases with age, with an estimated 70% of adults over the age of 65 having this dental issue. Your dentist has ways to address gum disease to keep you healthy.
What Is Involved in a Routine Dental Visit?
Your dental appointment will include some or all of the following services:
Cleaning by the Hygienist
Upon arrival at the dentist’s office, your teeth will be cleaned and polished by a dental hygienist. This involves using special medical instruments to carefully scrape plaque and tartar from your teeth. Teeth are then flossed and polished.
X-rays (Not at Every Visit)
Your dentist may also want to take X-rays of your teeth, gums, and jaws to provide more information about their structure and health. This is a painless procedure that involves gently biting down on a “bitewing” film placed in your mouth while the pictures are taken.
Exam by the Dentist
Your dentist will ask you about your overall health and about any new medications you are taking because this can have an impact on your oral health. You should also advise your dentist if there have been any changes since your last exam.
Your teeth, gums, jaws, and structures in your mouth are then examined for signs of decay or infection. Advanced dental technology may be used to detect problems in their early stages, such as DEXIS CariVu, which exposes the structure of a tooth and can identify the development of any dental caries.
Goodie Bag to Take Home
Following the examination, your dentist may make recommendations for your home oral health care, such as a particular type of toothbrush or cleaning product. You will be given a little bag that usually includes a toothbrush and travel-size toothpaste that are being recommended for you. You will be advised how often you should have your teeth professionally examined.
Comprehensive Dental Care in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
At Hagerman Dental Care, we provide comprehensive dental services for you and your whole family. Our services include state-of-the-art preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry in one convenient location in St. Paul.