Check Ups & Cleaning in St. Albert
Just like your annual visit to the doctor for a physical exam, dental checkups and cleanings can be seen as a full physical examination of your mouth and associated tissues. Sound strange? The fact is that examinations of your mouth and tissues are important to ensure that the complex structures of your jaw as well as your teeth are healthy and strong.
Everyone, regardless of whether they have natural teeth or not, needs to be seen for an oral checkup annually at minimum. That’s right, even patients who use dentures should be seen on a regular basis. Please contact NUVO to book an appointment today! All services performed by a general dentist.
Why Do We Need It?
If you don’t have any immediate concerns about your teeth, meaning that you don’t have any visible cavities and your teeth aren’t causing you pain, you might be tempted to skip your regular follow up with your dentist. But did you know that pain and cavities only scratch the surface of what your dentist is looking for when they assess the health of your mouth?
The teeth in your mouth are alive – they aren’t just stuck into your jaw with no real connection to the rest of your body. In fact, your teeth have nerves and blood supply feeding them and sending information to the brain about what is going on in your mouth. Thanks to these nerves, we are able to feel pain in a tooth that is damaged or infected in order to get it fixed before the concern progresses.
Much harder to detect are the concerns that are asymptomatic, meaning they do not necessarily cause symptoms such as pain or pressure. For example, your dentist uses a special light that allows him or her to look beyond the surface structures of your soft tissues (gums, cheeks, and tongue). Your dentist does this to check for any changes in the tissues that might indicate a concern, such as cancer, beneath the surface.
What’s the Risk of Not Being Seen?
The risk of not being seen for regular checkups and cleanings at your dentist is that you forego the opportunity to catch emerging problems before they become urgent. Wherever possible, your approach to your health and the health of your family should be a proactive one. Preventative maintenance of your teeth and gums significantly decreases your risk of developing problems that are difficult to reverse once they are established, such as mouth cancers and bone loss due to cysts beneath the gum line.
The risk of not having your teeth regularly cleaned by a trained hygienist is that you are likely to develop surface staining and tartar which can make your teeth look less appealing. Cleanings, however, are important for more than just looks. Your hygienist will get up close and personal with your teeth, polishing them and scraping away the development of tartar. Any signs of gingivitis or recession can be identified, and you can learn helpful tips to tweak your oral hygiene routine where concerns exist.
Since tartar is calcified, it is not removable with a toothbrush alone. Over time, the risk of gum disease increases where tartar is present, as gums begin to loosen their seal around the teeth and bacteria start to move in. Mild gingivitis is quite treatable, but advanced cases may require medication and invasive treatments such as root planing. The trick to avoid this? Have your teeth cleaned at regular intervals according to your dentist’s recommendations.
Your dentist will also examine the muscles of the jaw to evaluate the muscle structure and comfortable movement of the joint. Parents will be asked to discuss the family’s medical history including any genetic disorders that we should be aware of. Your dentist may ask about the child’s natal and neonatal history as well as information about your child’s delivery. Medical allergies will be discussed, as well as the child’s current nutritional profile. This is a good time to discuss concerns such as thumb sucking or frequent pacifier usage which your dentist may be able to counsel you about so that you can ensure that these habits do not impact the alignment of the baby teeth.
It may seem excessive to see your dentist every six months as a child, but the reasons for doing so are well founded. Children’s teeth have thinner enamel than adult teeth, making them less resistant to decay. What may take a year or two to form in the adult mouth can occur in a matter of months in the pediatric mouth. Additionally, it is important to note that while pediatric teeth are lost, the health of the baby teeth can impact the health of the upcoming adult teeth when they emerge.
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