General Dentistry: Reasons to See a Dentist Regularly

General Dentistry: Reasons to See a Dentist Regularly from Brighter Smile Family Dentistry & Orthodontics in Sterling, VALife is made up of a string of appointments. Some you look forward to, and some you would rather skip. General dentistry appointments are some of the important ones. If you are tempted to skip an appointment because you are unsure about the critical nature of these checkups, you should brush up on your understanding of their importance to your general health.

Why you should keep regular general dentistry appointments

General dentistry professionals recommend visits every six months to maintain optimal oral health. These visits will help to identify and treat existing problems and, more importantly, prevent new issues from developing.

Treat and prevent cavities

Even when you brush and floss diligently, you will miss small areas of the mouth, which enables the build-up of plaque. This build-up solidifies into tartar, which requires general dentistry tools to remove. By engaging in regular cleanings, tartar can be prevented from damaging the enamel and causing cavities. Once cavities form, fillings are needed to prevent the spread of decay and resulting pain and destruction.

Prevent gum disease

The build-up of plaque and tartar causes additional problems beyond tooth decay. Erosion of the gum tissues occurs when tartar creates an infection known as gingivitis. This causes the gums to recede away from the teeth, leading to bleeding, swelling, and soreness as the gum tissue breaks down. The bone holding teeth in place is also damaged, resulting in loosening or lost teeth. Regular dental visits can identify signs of gingivitis and address them prior to the occurrence of damage.

Detect oral cancer

Oral cancer is often difficult to detect, enabling it to progress and spread. However, early diagnosis makes the disease easier to treat. General dentistry practices are geared toward detecting the symptoms of oral cancer, and regularly scheduled checkups increase the likelihood of finding the disease in time to treat it. An oral cancer exam involves the use of a light projected into the mouth to identify tissue destroyed by the formation of tumors. The process is quick, non-invasive, and painless.

Monitor bad habits

Bad habits like smoking, nail biting, jaw clenching, teeth grinding, and eating and drinking sugary or acidic substances can have a negative effect on oral health. Regular general dentistry visits enable the dentist to look for and treat existing damage resulting from these poor habits. Becoming aware of the destructive nature of these habits can help you alter your choices and take steps to prevent additional damage.

Identify underlying problems

An important component of your general dentistry visit is having X-rays of your teeth and jaws. These images enable the dentist to identify issues beneath the mouth's surface. These issues may include impacted teeth, such as wisdom teeth, that are blocked and unable to erupt. X-rays can also reveal jawbone damage, bone decay, cysts, tumors, and swelling beneath the gums. Some of these issues show no outer symptoms and depend on early identification and treatment to prevent serious problems from developing.

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General dentistry is concerned with much more than simply cleaning and fixing your teeth. If you are tempted to skip your dentist visit, just remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Request an appointment or call Brighter Smile Family Dentistry & Orthodontics at 703-994-4044 for an appointment in our Sterling office.

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