Why You Should Make Dental Appointments a Routine
Just like flossing, dental care appointments are only effective if done regularly. Keeping up to date with your routine appointments is not only important to your oral health, but your overall health as well. By understanding what a routine dental appointment looks like, how to prepare for one, and how often they should be scheduled, you’ll feel ready for your next trip to the dentist.
The Importance of Routine Dental Appointments
Scheduling and attending routine dental appointments not only betters your dental and oral health, but your overall health as well. Gum disease has been linked to numerous other conditions such as heart disease, dementia, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and premature birth. It’s important to take care of any oral health concerns and practice the upkeep of your hygiene before they turn into bigger problems.
Scheduling routine dentist appointments can also help keep you out of the dentist more than you need to be in it. Catching those dental concerns as soon as possible lowers your risk and chance of emergency dental visits in the future.
What to Expect at a Routine Dental Appointment
Visiting the dentist can be an overwhelming experience. At Cajon Dental, we understand the importance of making sure you feel comfortable at your regular appointment. Here’s what you can expect when you come in for routine dental care:
Your routine dental appointment will revolve around dental cleaning, which is the process of making sure your mouth and teeth are healthy and clean. During a dental cleaning, one of our hygienists will remove plaque and tartar from your teeth, which can build up quickly between appointments, especially if you are the type of patient that builds up plaque and tartar quickly. Tartar, or as your hygienist would say Calculus is important to remove, for prolonged plaque and calculus on your teeth is the cause of gum disease and gingivitis. Flossing and polishing your teeth to improve their appearance by removing staining are also part of a dental cleaning.
Taking X-Rays of your teeth may also be done at your appointment. Teeth X-Rays are an important step in your routine dental appointment, for they are used to see what can’t always be visible in your routine appointment such as early cavities, gum disease, tooth decay, shifts in your teeth, or bone loss. X-Rays are required once a year, with a full-mouth x-ray being required every three to five years. At your appointment, your dentist will review the x-rays with you to explain what’s being seen and to walk through any concerns.
During your dental cleaning, a dental exam will be performed by your dentist. A dental exam is the process of thoroughly examining your oral health, from checking your face, neck, throat, lips, tongue, tissues, and gums for any signs for oral cancer, to evaluating for gum disease and tooth decay.
At the end of your dental cleaning, advice will be provided on how you can improve your daily oral hygiene outside of the office, so you can leave with a sparkling smile and be sure to keep it that way.
How to Prepare for a Routine Dental Appointment
To help further eliminate all the nerves you still may have about your dental visit, there are a few things you can do to prepare yourself to feel as ready as possible.
- Confirm Your Appointment – First and foremost, be sure your appointment is the right time and date! Any confusion or rescheduling can be solved with a quick call to your dental office, so you can be confident you’re showing up when you’re supposed to. We offer text confirmations for all your appointments, if calling is difficult just shoot us a text with any questions about your appointment.
- Gather Your Information – It’s important to be ready with the information you may need when checking in and out of your appointment. If your dental insurance has changed since your last visit, be sure to let your dental office know and bring any paperwork necessary for updating your file.
- Be Ready with Your Questions – Any oral or dental concerns? Does something look or feel off to you? Come ready with any questions or concerns you may have about your teeth so your dentist can make your needs a top priority at the start of your appointment. This is also a great time to ask about the cosmetic services your dentistry may provide, such as teeth whitening.
- Look Ahead – The most important part of a routine dental check up is making sure you’re continuing them! Review your availability and mark a date that works best for you to schedule another appointment for the future.
- Brush Your Teeth – Yes, you are allowed and encouraged to brush your teeth before your appointment! For routine dental appointments, it is perfectly fine to eat beforehand. However, if you feel nervous about food getting stuck between your teeth or bad breath, a quick brush and rinse is always helpful for your appointment preparation.
How Often Should You Schedule a Routine Dental Appointment?
Your hygienist will customize the right interval for you based on your home care routine, how fast plaque and calculus accumulate, your history of gum disease, as well as other health factors like diabetes, etc. Depending on all these factors, you may need to come in every 6 months or up to every 3 months to be able to maintain your oral health. Letting your dental care provider know about conditions such as pregnancy, diabetes, acidity, and any other health concerns can make room for custom intervals between your routine appointments.