Regular exams allow your dentist to detect potential concerns at their earliest possible stages. The timely treatment of a dental health problem can prevent it from affecting other aspects of your oral health, or, in the case of periodontal disease, from affecting other areas of the body. These visits also offer you an opportunity to discuss any questions you or your family members have about dental care and your oral health.
How often do I need a dental check-up?
The rule of thumb has long been to visit your dentist twice each year, about six months apart. While this is a good general guideline, the truth is that the need for dental exams varies by individual. People who are in good oral health, and who properly care for their teeth, may only need to see a dentist once a year if they are otherwise not at risk for the onset of dental health problems. Others may benefit from two or three check-ups and cleaning sessions annually in order to monitor a particular condition or help reduce excess plaque accumulation. Routine check-ups are especially important for children, whose mouths are developing and undergoing rapid changes as they grow. Children should receive their first dental exams when the baby teeth begin to erupt or around the time they turn one. Dr. Hall will recommend a check-up schedule based on your unique dental health needs.
Dental hygiene at home
One of the most important factors in maintaining good oral health is your daily dental hygiene regimen. This should include brushing your teeth at least twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. You may wish to use an electric or battery-powered toothbrush, some of which have demonstrated an ability to reduce plaque more than manual brushing when used properly. These types of toothbrushes are also beneficial to those who suffer from conditions, such as arthritis, that make it challenging to use a standard toothbrush. Rinse your toothbrush after brushing, and allow it to air dry between uses; regularly storing your toothbrush in a case or enclosed space can lead to bacteria growth. Replace your toothbrush or brush head every few months or as soon as you notice the bristles becoming frayed or bent. Brushing should be followed at least once daily by flossing. The use of dental floss or floss picks removes particles from the spaces between your teeth and along the gum line that your toothbrush can’t access. Without flossing, these particles can progressively contribute to plaque build-up, cavities and periodontal disease.
Signs you should visit a dentist
Regardless of whether you or your child is due for a check-up, there are some signs and symptoms that require immediate dental attention. You should schedule a dental exam as soon as possible if you notice:
- Red, swollen or tender gums
- Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing
- Gums that appear to be receding
- Teeth sensitivity to hot or cold
- Loose teeth
- Changes in teeth alignment
- Chronic bad breath or persistent unusual taste in the mouth
- Difficulty biting, chewing or swallowing
- Recurring pain in the face, jaw or mouth
These can be indicators of significant oral health problems. Again, early diagnosis and treatment of issues with your teeth, gums and mouth is the best tactic for ensuring your long-term oral health.
Our commitment to your dental health
Dr. Hall has a passion for helping people achieve and maintain vibrant smiles and excellent oral health. This passion is backed by an extensive education that includes postgraduate dental training at the renowned Las Vegas Institute (LVI), the world’s premier educational facility for advanced dental studies in restorative dentistry, neuromuscular dentistry and cosmetic dentistry. Dr. Hall remains committed to ongoing education and training in order to provide patients the most effective and comfortable dental care available.
If you’re seeking knowledgeable, compassionate dental care in the Colorado Springs area, please contact The Studio for Exceptional Dentistry online or call us at (719) 481-8250 to learn more about our services or schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Hall.