Dental Checkups & Teeth Cleanings – Millersville, MD
Keep Your Smile Healthy for Life
At McCarl Dental Group, we always emphasize the importance of preventive dentistry for our patients, especially biannual dental checkups and teeth cleanings in our Millersville, MD dental office. These regular appointments give us the opportunity to screen your smile for developing health concerns and partner with you to keep your smile healthy for a lifetime. Keep reading to learn more about the importance of twice a year dental checkups and teeth cleanings with our Millersville dentists and get in touch when you’re ready to schedule your next dental visit. We look forward to hearing from you.
How Often Should I Schedule Dental Checkups & Teeth Cleanings?
The standard set by the American Dental Association is that patients should visit their dentist at least every six months to maintain optimal oral health. For most people, this frequency is adequate to prevent major oral health concerns and catch issues in the earliest stages to avoid the need for invasive and costly dentistry procedures. However, everyone is different, and there are some people who will benefit from more frequent visits to their dental office, including:
- Expectant mothers – hormonal changes during gestation dramatically increases the risk for gum disease. In fact this is so common the condition has its own name – pregnancy gingivitis. For this reason, women may need to visit the dentist for more frequent teeth cleanings without additional dental x-rays during pregnancy.
- Individuals with chronic oral health concerns – gum disease, frequent cavities, and other chronic oral health issues can escalate quickly, irreversibly damaging smiles. For this reason, patients with these conditions need to visit the dentist a little more often, usually every three or four months, to ensure they avoid serious health concerns.
- Tobacco users – anyone who smokes, vapes, or otherwise uses tobacco products will need to visit the dentist more often. Not only do these product stain teeth, dry mouth associated with tobacco use also increases development of calculus (tartar), which leads to tooth decay and gum disease. Additionally, tobacco users are at elevated risk for oral cancer. For these reasons, your dentist will likely recommend quarterly visits to the dentist.
- Individuals in cancer treatment – many of the treatments associated with cancer can increase oral health concerns, so it’s beneficial to visit the dentist at least three or four times each year.
- Those with chronic illnesses – chronic, systemic illnesses like HIV/AIDs, heart disease, and diabetes, have symptoms and/or common treatments that may impact oral health. If you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic illness, talk to you dentist about the need to adjust your preventive dentistry plan.
Why do I Need to Visit the Dentist Every Six Months if I Brush & Floss Daily?
While daily tooth brushing and flossing are essential aspects of preventive dental care plans, they still won’t prevent all oral health concerns. Even the most diligent at-home oral hygiene routine may miss certain areas. For example, patients often have tiny, deep crevices in the biting surfaces of teeth where even a single tooth brush bristle won’t reach. However, microscopic oral bacteria can accumulate there, producing plaque that hardens into calculus within hours. The same is true of the pockets between teeth and gum tissue. Some patients have deeper pockets that can’t be effectively cleaned through flossing alone. There are many difficult to clean areas on every person’s teeth where calculus will develop, damaging dental structures and soft tissue. The hard, stuck-on calculus deposits need to be removed by a professional. For this reason, you still need to visit the dentist at least twice a year for a preventive dental checkup and professional teeth cleaning.
These regular preventive dentistry appointments may actually save you a significant amount of time and money compared to the alternative of repairing your smile after problems arise. When serious oral health concerns, like advanced tooth decay and gum disease develop, your discomfort, time in the dental office, and out of pocket treatment costs can be significant. Compare that with scheduling regular trips to see us for quick checkups and cleanings, and the right choice is clear.
What Happens During a Dental Checkup & Teeth Cleaning Visit?
When you visit our Millersville dental office for preventive dentistry appointments, you will, be greeted warmly by our friendly dental team and caring dentists. We know how important it is for our patients to feel welcome and right at home in our Millersville dental office, and we always want to ensure you feel safe, comfortable, and taken care of. During these visits, we’ll perform quite a few preventive dental services, including:
- Capturing any necessary diagnostic x-rays and/or intraoral images of patient’s oral and facial structures
- Performing a thorough dental exam, including oral cancer screening and measuring periodontal pockets to screen for developing gum disease
- Completing cleaning of your teeth to remove bacteria, plaque, and calculus buildup in even the hardest to access areas
- Providing necessary education and resources to promote great oral health and hygiene every day