Don’t brush off regular checkups to
the dentist. Regular dental checkups are essential to maintaining good oral
health. We encourage regular checkups
at least every six months. Seeing the dentist twice a year is recommended because
your dentist can:
- check for problems that you might not see or feel
- find early signs of decay, and
- treat oral health problems early, while they are still manageable.
Regular checkups include a thorough cleaning, polishing, and an oral exam
by the doctor. During the oral exam, the doctor checks the health of your mouth,
teeth, gums, cheeks, and tongue. At each visit, the doctor also checks old
fillings and restorations because constant pressure from chewing, grinding,
can cause them to wear away, chip, or crack.
Your First Visit
Your first visit to the doctor typically includes an x-ray that allows the
doctor to view the structure of the jaw, the position of any teeth that have
erupted, malformed roots, and tooth decay.
The initial visit also involves getting your medical history. When you share
your medical history with the doctor, be sure to provide complete, up-to-date
information on your health. Inform your dentist if you have experienced recent
hospitalization or surgery, or if you have recently been ill. Also tell the
doctor the names, doses, and frequency of any medications you are taking — whether
prescription or over-the-counter products — and the name of your physician.
Inform the doctor of any changes in your health or medications. It is also
important to bring up any fears you may have about dental treatment.
The information collected in your first visit will help the doctor select
the most safe and effective method of treatment for you.