If you haven’t seen a dentist in a year or two, you’re not alone; many adults find it hard to make time for their recommended twice-yearly checkups, and even more are worried about receiving a scolding from their dentist if they wait too long. If you’ve been putting off an oral checkup, read on about what to expect and how to approach your next dental appointment.
Major life events can get in the way of scheduling important check-ups like doctor or dental visits. A young adult living on their own suddenly doesn’t have a guardian to make appointments for them; a new spouse or parent may be more focused on caring for their partner or child. Whatever your reason for postponing your visit, remember that seeing your dentist is just as important as visiting your primary care physician. Problems in your mouth can have an effect on your entire body, and warning signs, when left untreated, can develop into serious health concerns.
Either before or after your cleaning, your dentist will sit with you and discuss proper oral health, any follow-up appointments, and next steps. Be prepared to take note of your dentist’s recommendations on oral hygiene, and try to schedule your next checkup before you leave.
If it’s been a few years since you’ve last had your mouth cleaned, it’s likely that plaque and tartar have built up on the surfaces of your teeth. Your dentist or dental technician may suggest a deep clean, in which they scrape off tartar and polish each tooth. While this may take a bit longer, be sure to make the time – teeth cleanings are important to keeping your teeth healthy and preventing cavities.
Speaking of cavities, the longer you wait between dental checkups, the more likely you are to have developed cavities from bacteria buildup or gingivitis from gum inflammation. While you’re having your teeth cleaned, you may notice sensitive spots or sore gums; these pain points can be indicative of a cavity or a decrease in gum health. If your dentist notices cavities or other problems, he or she may require a follow-up visit for treatment.
X-Rays and Preventative Care
Receiving x-rays on your mouth is an important facet of preventing serious illnesses like dental decay, bone degeneration, and oral cancer. Especially if it’s been a while since your last checkup, your dentist will likely recommend taking x-rays of your mouth to scan for problems that aren’t visible on the surface of your teeth. If you had x-rays taken in the past, either bring a copy or have your last dentist’s office send them to your new provider; this allows your new dentist to compare your old x-rays to your new ones, making it easier to identify the health of your jaw, teeth, and bite.
Has it been several years since you last saw a dentist? Call Hinsdale Dental today for a new patient consultation, and learn what you can do today to keep your mouth healthy!Return to Blog