Why do I need a biannual checkup?
For those of you who always need to know the “why” behind the professional recommendations you hear, this blog is for you! All of us have been told at one point or another that we should visit the dentist twice a year for a biannual cleaning and checkup. That’s pretty simple advice, but it still helps to know what happens and what the purpose is behind these visits. This is especially true for those of us who suffer from dental fear and waiting room anxiety. Below we detail the “what” and “why” of your biannual checkup!
Your biannual checkup can be broken down into two main elements. The first is the checkup or exam and the second is the cleaning. Each element is necessary to maintain the long term health of your teeth and gums.
Dr. Thompson will thoroughly examine your teeth for tartar, plaque, decay, or other problems. What is plaque, you ask? Plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, is the first stage that eventually hardens into tartar. Tartar is only able to be removed by the cleaning performed by your dentist or dental hygienist, it doesn’t come off with brushing or flossing. Next, we will examine your gums. The space between your teeth is measured. Deep spaces between teeth may indicate gum disease. Finally, your neck, throat, head and tongue will be examined for signs of cancer or other problems.
This is where the plaque and tartar are removed. Then surface stains are also removed from your teeth via polishing with a gritty paste, and finally a very thorough flossing is done.
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (6/2/2016) Parker Knight (Flickr)