Why a Regular Dental Checkup in Annandale, VA Matters

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Why Should You Get a Dental Checkup Every Six Months in Annandale, VA?

Isn’t every six months overkill for a healthy adult who practices good oral care? Not according to the dentists and staff at Annandale Smiles in Annandale, VA. As experts in oral health, they feel strongly that dental checkups are at the heart of a solid oral health regimen. Everyone in the family needs to see the dentist every six months, or more often if oral health conditions will benefit.

Why Dental Checkups Matter

Five decades ago, the U.S. military conducted a study on new recruits. The results were depressing. American’s oral care was bad, and their teeth and gums were worse. At the time, there were no guidelines about how often to see the dentist.

The focus 50 years ago was on fixing problems, not preventing them. Today’s dentists know that isn’t the best approach. The experts at Annandale Smiles in Annandale, VA, see how effective it is to see patients at six-month intervals. These regular exams catch problems before they develop into major cavities, gum problems or other oral care difficulties.

The result is that patients are much more likely to keep their own teeth for a lifetime. They have fewer, smaller fillings. Their gums are healthy. Plaque and tartar buildup is at a minimum.

Why Six Months?

When confronted with the findings of military dentists and researchers, dental and health organizations in the U.S. decided to set standards and put an emphasis on preventive care. But they weren’t sure how far apart to set the dental checkups in Annandale, VA, and around the country.

There were no benchmarks they could rely on, so they made their own recommendations. Using the best guess approach, they decided that twice a year sounded good. This seemed like a sensible amount of time between exams and cleanings.

Some dentists say that the recommendations were actually influenced by an early toothpaste ad on television. One of the leading brands had a jingle suggesting going to the dentist twice a year. However it started, the new guidelines gained wide acceptance quickly. The results have been better dental health care for Americans, who are keeping their natural teeth much longer.

Does It Work?

Every six months is a good starting point for dental checkups in Annandale, VA. But the fact is, every patient is different. How often you go depends on your oral hygiene regimen and your medical and dental condition.

Even a person who takes care of his teeth with daily brushing and flossing needs to visit a dentist on a regular basis. You can’t see into your mouth like a dentist and hygienist can. They can see the beginnings of inflammation, decay and gum problems before you are aware of them.

Many dental problems don’t even emerge until they are at an advanced stage and require major treatment and lots of time in the dental chair. But if you had received help early, the work needed would have been minor.

What Does the Dentist Look For?

Of course, dentists look for early signs of gum disease and tooth decay. But modern dentists look for much more.

They can check for inflammation, ulcers in the mouth, gums that are swollen and dry mouth. These can indicate oral cancer, diabetes. pancreatic cancer, kidney disease, heart disease and leukemia.

Other problems that can be early signs of major problems include bad breath, bleeding gums and bone loss, which shows up in dental X-rays. This can be a sign of osteoporosis. If your jaw is painful and often sore, it can be an early precursor of a heart attack.

Your dentist can see signs of poor diet and nutrition, bad alignment of the jaw and overall health problems when he performs a checkup.

That’s why your dentist will often ask medical-sounding questions, in addition to checking on your oral health. Though these seem unconnected to your dental health, they are important.

An Ideal Oral Health Regimen

Daily brushing and flossing are at the foundation of your oral health. But there is more you can do to make sure your dental checkups in Annandale, VA, go well. Here are five tips for better oral care:

  • Brush daily.
  • Floss daily.
  • Eat a nutrition-dense diet, especially rich in vitamins A and C.
  • Limit alcohol.
  • Don’t smoke or use smokeless tobacco.
  • Use prescription medication, especially antibiotics, according to directions.
  • Go to the dentist as soon as you notice changes in your mouth. Be alert for signs of ongoing bad breath, red gums, swollen gums, sore jaws and sores in your mouth.

What Happens During a Six-Month Checkup?

The three things that happen during routine dental checkups in Annandale, VA, are:

  • Thorough physical exam of your mouth
  • Professional cleaning
  • X-rays

The physical exam gives your dentist a chance to look over your teeth and gums for signs of cavities, decay, gum disease, oral cancer and other conditions. He will check for any abnormalities and ask you about changes in your oral health.

The cleaning is done by the dental hygienist. Even if you brush your teeth after every meal, you can still miss spots. Brushing gets rid of plaque in the obvious surface areas of your tooth. But your hygienist can remove it from hard-to-reach spots in the back of your mouth and teeth.

The problem with plaque is that it turns to tartar, which can’t be removed at home. Your hygienist has the tools and materials to get rid of it during a six-month cleaning. When left on your teeth for long periods, tartar causes tooth decay and problems with your gums.

Every two or three visits, your dentist will arrange to have the staff X-ray your teeth. This shows up cavities in their earliest stages and signs of enamel wear. Problems that are hidden are immediately clear on an X-ray.

The Value of Regular Preventive Care

The sooner problems are caught, the better shape your teeth and gums are. That means you don’t have to go through long, uncomfortable treatments to fix major oral health problems. When you let you dentist perform dental checkups in Annandale, VA, every six months, you know that significant teeth and gum difficulties will be detected within months.

That’s less time in the dental chair, listening to the dreaded drill. It means fewer shots in your gum to deaden pain. Your natural teeth look nicer longer. Nothing beats a mouth full of bright, well cared for teeth when you want to smile.

When your teeth and gums are in excellent shape, you can eat all types of food without problems. Your teeth won’t become loose; your gums will be a healthy pink, and you will have fewer fillings to worry about.

Trust Experience

Annandale Smiles, your headquarters for dental checkups in Annandale, VA, has been a leader in preventive dentistry for many years. The emphasis among dentists, hygienists and staff is on helping you keep your natural teeth for a lifetime.

At Annandale Smiles, the dentists have earned a reputation for delivering the highest quality care in a caring way. They work hard to keep you comfortable and pain-free during treatments. The team at Annandale handles all aspects of preventive and cosmetic care, from exams to oral hygiene and cleaning.

They do teeth whitening using the most up-to-date and effective materials. If you have decay or inflamed teeth, they fill cavities and perform root canals.

If your teeth aren’t aligned properly, they can help you with Invisalign orthodontics. If you have pitted, cracked or deeply stained teeth, they can install porcelain veneers. If you are missing teeth, they can insert dental implants.

The focus during your dental checkups in Annandale, VA, is on a beautiful smile and fully functioning teeth.

If you are fearful of going to the dentist, and many patients are, they offer minimal sedation dentistry. By taking just a single pill taken 30 minutes before your appointment, you will be relaxed and almost oblivious to what is going on. This is a real boon for people who keep making, and then canceling, exams because they are too frightened to see the dentist.

Annandale Smiles also offers Diagnodent, considered a major breakthrough in finding tooth decay early. It detects problems even before X-rays do. When the dentist uses Diagnodent during your dental checkups in Annandale, VA, he can find hidden signs of decay in the very earliest stages. It can then be treated before it destroys your tooth.

Here is a look at what Annandale Smiles in Annandale, VA, can do for you. The practice offers a wide range of services for every member of the family, whatever their ages.

  • Cosmetic dentistry
  • Preventive dentistry
  • Sedation dentistry
  • Teeth whitening
  • Tooth-colored fillings
  • TMJ issues
  • Dentures and partials
  • Root canals
  • Fountain of Youth dentures
  • Invisalign
  • Infection control
  • Six Month Smiles
  • Porcelain veneers
  • Metal-free crowns

Call Annandale Smiles today for an appointment for dental checkups for the entire family in Annandale, VA.

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