You may assume you should have a dental check-up every six months, but some people may not need to go so often and others may need more frequent checks.
Your dentist will suggest when you should have your next check-up based on how good your oral health is.
The time between check-ups can vary from three months to two years depending on how healthy your teeth and gums are and your risk of future problems.
Why do I need a dental check-up?
A check-up allows your dentist to see if you have any dental problems and helps you keep your mouth healthy. Leaving problems untreated could make them more difficult to treat in the future, so it's best to deal with problems early, or, if possible, prevent them altogether.
What happens during a dental check-up?
At each check-up, your dentist should:
- Examine your teeth, gums and mouth.
- Ask about your general health and any problems you’ve had with your teeth, mouth or gums since your last visit.
- Ask about, and give you advice on, your diet, smoking and alcohol use, and teeth-cleaning habits.
- Discuss with you a date for your next visit.
What will the hygienist do?
Dental hygiene is a very important part of keeping a healthy smile.
Our hygienist is specifically trained in the prevention of periodontal (gum) disease and dental cavities. Our hygienist is keen to re- educate patients with regards to the use of toothbrushes, electronic aids, dental floss, super floss and inter-dental brushes.
Our hygienist will carefully examine and chart your teeth and gums noting in particular: inflammation, bleeding, swelling, and the presence of plaque and calculus. Our hygienist will remove plaque, tartar and surface stains by gentle scaling using ultrasound scaler tips and/or handscalers and polishing using slow handpieces and prophylaxis paste.
Why is dental hygiene important?
The importance of dental hygiene cannot be stressed enough on a number of levels: for healthy teeth and gums that prevents tooth decay and gum disease; to reduce discomfort and pain from damaged teeth and gums; for whiter teeth and a brighter smile; for improved appearance and enhanced confidence; and for learning about your physical oral make-up and how vital this is especially for first impressions when meeting others.
Bad breath or stained and broken teeth can be off-putting to people when interviewing for jobs or meeting potential partners. Dental hygiene also helps you understand the benefits of a healthy diet, such as fruits, vegetables, high-fibre foods, and milk; and balanced life-style, such as not smoking tobacco or reducing intake and protection in high-contact sports, that improves overall wellbeing.
Last but not least there are quite a few medical researchers who link gum problems with heart problems and stress the importance of a meticulously clean mouth especially for high risk patients.
How can I learn more about dental hygiene?
Your dentist and/or hygienist are trained in oral hygiene and will advise you on how best to take care of your teeth and the treatments that you may need. The Internet also has vast resources for learning more about your teeth and gums, and so do books at the library. Feel free to bring your questions with you to your next appointment.
How often should I see the hygienist?
Depending on a number of parameters hygienist visits may be advised as often as every two months or for very low risk patients every 2 years. For most of patients seeing the hygienist every 6 months is a very good routine.