When it comes to going to the dentist for preventive appointments, there are many other things that most people would rather do instead. Unfortunately, this only compounds the problem by causing minor problems with your teeth to turn into major ones that require restorative dental work. Preventive dentistry is even more important as you age, since at least 75 percent of adults over the age of 35 have gum disease and do not know it. Untreated gum disease can lead to tooth loss and a host of other preventable dental problems.
A Typical Preventive Dental Appointment
To reduce your risk of gum disease and other issues with your mouth, jaw and teeth, it is important to commit to a dental hygiene program that you practice at home and to visiting your dentist at least twice a year. When you visit a dentist for the first time, you will be given a comprehensive exam in which any dental problems you have will be identified and plans for treatment put into place. Preventive exams are usually the first opportunity for a dentist to view such issues as cracked teeth or teeth that have begun to decay.
In addition to detecting dental problems, you will also receive a professional cleaning which includes removing plaque and tartar build-up from your teeth and gums by non-surgical methods. Dental technology has come a long way in the past decade and you may be surprised to find out that going to the dentist is not nearly as unpleasant as you think it will be. When your cleaning is completed with the dental assistant polishing your teeth, your dentist will take one last look to see if there were any more serious dental problems that were missed in the comprehensive part of the exam.
How to Care for Your Teeth at Home
Since you only see a dentist two times a year on average, it is up to you to properly care for your teeth in between appointments. This includes brushing at least twice per day for a minimum of two minutes and flossing after every meal if possible.