A twice-annual checkup and cleaning is a crucial aspect of dental hygiene. As your trusted Loveland dentist, Dr. Andy Maples recommends these preventive appointments for patients of all ages. Staying on top of your regular checkups and teeth cleanings helps your dental team stop oral issues in their tracks, and to reverse instances of decay and infection before they become larger, more costly problems.
So what can you expect in this six-month checkup and cleaning? And what's the difference between plaque and tartar, anyway? Let's take a look at these and other important questions regarding your preventive dental care.
What's the Goal of a Six Month Dental Checkup & Cleaning?
The overall goal of your preventive appointment is just that -- prevention. We perform several steps to help keep problems from developing, and then we evaluate your mouth for existing issues.
First, your experienced dental hygienist will thoroughly remove plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth and around your gums in the cleaning portion of your appointment. Plaque is the sticky substance that forms on the teeth throughout the day, the stuff you can scratch off with your fingernail. When it’s not removed by proper brushing and flossing, it turns into tartar, the hard, yellow substance that can only be removed by a professional. Both plaque and tartar cause cavities and gum disease.
After your teeth are completely clean, Dr. Maples will examine your mouth as well as any x-rays we've taken to find problems that are lurking above and below the surface. What could go wrong with your teeth and gums? A number of things, including the following:
- Cavities, or holes that have formed in the tooth enamel to weaken the tooth.
- Gum disease (also known as periodontal disease). Symptoms include bleeding, tender or swollen gums, gum recession and tooth sensitivity.
- Worn dental work, like a leaking filling or a loose crown.
- An oral cancer screening can be performed alongside this preventive appointment as requested.
If your dentist in Loveland CO spots cavities, evidence of gum disease, worn dental work or any other issue with your teeth or gums, we'll discuss your options moving forward with excellent restorative care.
During this six month checkup and cleaning, we'll also take note of how you're caring for your teeth. Is it obvious you're missing some spots while you floss? Are you unknowingly harming your teeth with nighttime teeth grinding? Is one of your medications interfering with your dental health? Let’s talk about it together. We view patient education just another one of our important duties to help you maintain a happy, healthy smile for life.
Contact Your Family Dentist in Loveland CO Today
When was your last preventive visit to the dentist? Don't forget that it's far easier to stop problems from occurring in the first place -- so let us help you do just that! Located in Loveland, Co, West Lake Dental welcomes new patients from the areas of Berthoud, Fort Collins, and beyond. Request your appointment for a checkup and cleaning today!