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Dentists typically recommend that patients should visit their dentist for a routine cleaning and dental exam at least once or twice a year. Going to your dentist for a routine checkup will allow you to maintain a bright smile. Routine exams by a family dentist will help you to retain your oral health by removing plaque or tartar and checking for any signs of decay, damage, or disease. For those requiring an annual checkup soon, the right dentist can alleviate any growing dental concerns to make sure you maintain the highest standard of oral health.

Tooth Decay, Damage and Disease

A routine exam is important because it allows your dentist to check your teeth for any possible signs of tooth decay, gingivitis or other health issues that you may have. If you don’t come in for a checkup at least once a year, these health problems could get worse if unchecked and could become a much larger problem than they would have been otherwise.

Dental Problems with No Visible Damage

Some dental issues may have no visible signs of damage or decay, or even pain. During your routine exam, your dentist will often recommend that you have an X-ray in order to catch any “hidden” damage or identify any dental issues below the gums or in your jaw. Some of the problems that X-rays can catch are tooth decay, impacted teeth, tumors, cysts or even bone changes that could be linked to a disease.

Damage Caused by Bad Habits

During your exam, your dentist may notice that you have damage due to bad habits. Your dentist may notice that you grind your teeth, chew on ice, or use your teeth to open things. If you see your dentist regularly, he or she will likely be able to catch any bad habits early on and be able to recommend a solution. For example, if you grind your teeth at night, your dentist can make you a mouth guard.

Preventative Measures to Fight Tooth Decay

Dentists may also apply sealant on your back teeth during your routine exam. This sealant is used to help prevent your back teeth from developing cavities. It keeps food and bacteria from settling in the cracks and grooves of your teeth. After the cleaning, your dentist may also apply fluoride directly to your teeth. This fluoride treatment helps prevent tooth decay between cleanings. If you skip a routine cleaning then you may be putting your teeth at further risk of tooth decay.

Schedule an Appointment

Overall, a routine cleaning and exam is important to your overall dental health, and you should be seeing a dentist on an annual, if not bi-annual, basis. If you’re looking for a family dentist in San Antonio, TX, consider making an appointment with Smiley Dental & Orthodontics for your next dental exam.