Twice a year (at least) you come to our dental office in Belle Fourche for your dental hygiene visit. During this appointment, we’re certainly focused on removing plaque, flossing diligently, and polishing your pearly whites. But what our patients may not know is that your bi-annual cleaning has a much bigger focus than simply getting your teeth clean.
Dental X-Rays Tell a More Detailed Story
Usually at one of your two appointments a year your dental team will take low-radiation, digital x-rays. These images help both your hygienist and dentist in Belle Fourche get a much closer and detailed look into your oral health. Dental x-rays help catch any cavities that are not yet large enough for the naked eye to see. This is also when they’re the easiest to treat. The images even allow your dentist to see what’s going on below the gum line and into the jaw bone. X-rays can help diagnose an abscess or the beginning stages of bone deterioration that may affect dental health in the future.
We Don’t Only Look at Teeth
As hygienists perform their examinations and remove plaque buildup from teeth, they’re also looking for any decay or cavities that should be treated sooner rather than later. But that’s not all. Hygienists and dentists are trained to look for signs of a larger problem that may affect the whole body.
There is a strong correlation between oral health and several systemic diseases such as heart disease, oral cancer, and diabetes. Oftentimes these diseases will first show signs in the mouth. At your bi-annual dental cleaning, your team is looking closely for any signs that may indicate the possibility of any of those problems. Like most health issues, the sooner these are diagnosed properly, the sooner treatment can begin and the more successful it tends to be.
It’s Ok to Ask Questions
We believe in educating our patients, so questions at your appointments are always welcome. Besides, the more knowledgeable you are, the healthier your mouth tends to be. These visits are also an ideal time to talk about any changes you’ve noticed in your oral health, any concerns you may have, or perhaps about cosmetic dentistry or restorative dentistry that you’ve been considering for awhile.
At our Belle Fourche dental office, we recommend that our patients see us at least twice a year for their dental cleanings to prevent any oral health problems from becoming more difficult to treat if left alone, and ideally to keep them from happening to begin with.
If it’s been more than six months since your last dental appointment, we encourage you to schedule an appointment today.