Why Should I Get My Teeth Cleaned Every Six Months?

This is actually one of those questions we do NOT hear very often in the dental office. Why?  Because we typically see the people who do come to get their teeth cleaned every six months.

We do, however, see many patients who have a family member who chooses not to stick to a consistent schedule of professional teeth cleanings.  This blog will give you valuable information you can share with those loved ones if they ask this question to you!

Important Aspects of the Six-Month Visit

There are six important things that happen during a six-month dental visit.  Each one by itself is a good enough reason to see your dentist every six months.  When you put them all together, skipping your regular dental visits just sounds crazy.

  1. Full Mouth Evaluation (including Oral Cancer Screening)

At each six-month visit, Dr. Chowning performs a periodic oral evaluation.  In our office, we take pride in our comprehensive evaluations.

We also continue to assess and address new dental and oral concerns as we learn new information.  Oral health is an area of healthcare that is continually expanding and advancing.  Our commitment to continuing education keeps us on the ball in this regard.

During a periodic evaluation, we meticulously search the mouth for warning signs of any dental disease, like cavities, gum disease, tooth cracks, and oral cancer.  Catching any of these problems early always results in less expensive and less extensive treatment!

Our oral evaluations always include an oral cancer screening.  This is one of the most important aspects of your regularly scheduled dental visits.  Oral cancer is changing and affecting more people of a new, younger demographic.  Every single person should have an oral cancer screening by a dentist or oral surgeon no less than once every year!

  1. Professional Teeth Cleaning

“Getting your teeth cleaned” is how most people refer to this six-month visit.  We hope this blog convinces you that it is so much more than that.  But the professional teeth cleaning itself, on a six-month schedule, IS essential to great oral health.

No one is a perfect brusher and flosser.  No matter how diligent or good you are, you will always some small areas of bacteria.  The dental hygienist is the expert at removing all bacterial buildup from your mouth and giving you a clean slate every six months.

The professional teeth cleaning fights the bacteria that cause both cavities and gum disease.  Removing these bacteria regularly helps lower your risk for dental disease.

A lower risk for dental problems saves you money!

  1. Dental X-rays and other Images

Usually, we take dental x-rays about once each year, and we take photos whenever needed!

Not only do these images give us important information about what goes on in your teeth; they also allow us to catch problems before they get big enough for you to notice them.  Waiting until something hurts or bothers you is a sure way to spend lots of money at the dental office.

Dental x-rays are mandatory for evaluating the teeth for cavities, the supporting bone around each tooth, and both jaws for masses, tumors or cysts.  Dentists who do not take consistent x-rays on patients are guilty of malpractice!

Dental x-rays are safer than the dental problems you could miss without them!

  1. Periodontal Measurements

Gum measurements tell us how healthy or unhealthy your gums are.  Periodontal disease is often called a “silent” disease because it does not cause many noticeable symptoms.  People can be walking around with terrible periodontal disease and deep gum pockets without knowing it.

By measuring your gums consistently, we catch and treat gum pockets before they reach dangerous levels.  Early intervention is always less invasive and less expensive!

  1. Risk Assessment

We take time during each dental evaluation to inform you of your specific risk areas.  Not everyone has a high risk for cavities.  Some people can slack off on flossing and still have a relatively low risk for gum disease.  Others have perfectly clean, healthy teeth that are breaking and crumbling as a result of heavy teeth grinding.

What is important is that you know YOUR areas of risk so that you can take steps to lower them.  We give you detailed information about the risk factors unique to your mouth and recommendations for home care and dental treatment aimed at reducing those risks.

  1. Patient Education

Dr. Chowning and our dental hygienists love nothing more than to teach each patient how they can take the best care of their teeth and have a completely healthy mouth.  Instead of a visit where we simply tell you everything that is wrong with your mouth, we aim for visits that empower you to take control of your mouth.

We often recommend over-the-counter products that will meet a specific need you have.  Our hygienists will teach you how to use additional oral hygiene tools to clean hard-to-reach places in your mouth.

We believe that when you understand certain disease processes in the mouth and your role in preventing them, you have your best chance at fighting them.  We agree with G.I. Joe: “Knowing is half the battle!”

More Questions about the Importance of Consistent Dental Visits?

Call 940-382-1750 today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Chowning.  Better yet, schedule a professional teeth cleaning so you can get the other five important aspects, too!