Azusa, CA area dentist discusses the importance of regular dental checkups and cleanings
Oral health and wellness begin with routine and preventive care. When patients think of keeping their smile healthy and clean, they think of brushing and flossing. While these two activities can help maintain the smile, it is just as essential to visit the dentist for evaluations and cleanings. Dr. Brianne Luu and her team of Gentle Care Dentistry in Azusa, CA are pleased to explain the importance of regular dental visits for checkups, cleanings, and x-rays to monitor one’s oral health and wellness over a lifetime!
What occurs during a routine dental visit?
Preventative care starts with regular visits to the dentist. During these visits, patients will enjoy the following services:
- Professional dental cleaning. As soon as patients arrive, the dental hygienist will provide a thorough cleaning of the patient’s teeth. During this time, the provider will look for signs of problems to point out to the dentist. This may be indications of gum disease or cavities. The cleaning allows the hygienist to get to those hard-to-reach areas of the mouth. The instruments used can also remove any areas of plaque and tartar that have built up even with regular brushing and flossing. If patients experience any discomfort, they will be asked where this occurred so the hygienist can look in the area for signs of a dental problem that may require attention.
- Dental x-rays. A helpful diagnostic tool for monitoring oral health is the dental x-ray. Dental x-rays allow the dentist to see beyond the physical areas of the mouth. An x-ray gives images of the teeth and bone of the jaw. It also assists in finding cavities that may not be noticed during a physical evaluation.
- Physical examination. The dentist evaluates the patient’s smile by looking for signs of disease or decay. If any of these are found, they are properly diagnosed before the dentist recommends treatment. More severe cases may require treatment during a second appointment, while small areas where cavities may have developed can be quickly addressed during the same visit.
- Education. During a dental evaluation and visit, patients are encouraged to ask their dentist about ways to keep their smile healthy. If specific problems are noticed, such as food buildup between teeth, Dr. Brianne Luu will discuss the importance of flossing the teeth. Patients showing the initial signs of periodontal disease will want to find out what they can do at home to keep the condition from getting more severe and developing into the later stages of periodontitis.
- Discussion of future treatments. Patients unhappy with specific areas of their smile can discuss with their dentist the imperfections they would like to address. During this time, our dental team can make recommendations as to future treatments that can be performed. Many of these are cosmetic. Aesthetic dental services are more affordable than patients realize and are an excellent way to enhance the smile.
Why are regular cleanings and checkups important for oral health and wellness?
While brushing the teeth and flossing after every meal is a great way to maintain a healthy smile, it is not the only thing that can be done to prevent future problems. When patients visit Dr. Brianne Luu of Gentle Care Dentistry every six months, they are not only monitoring the health of the smile but building a positive, working relationship with the dental team. This, in turn, builds trust between patient and dentist. Routine monitoring of one’s oral health and wellness also ensures that conditions such as tooth decay or periodontal disease are caught early on for successful intervention. These conditions are entirely avoidable with proper oral health care and education from a team of professionals.
How often should a patient visit the dentist?
Most patients will benefit from visiting the team at Gentle Care Dentistry at least every six months. During these visits, patients will have a full examination and cleaning. The dentist will discuss the patient’s oral health at this time and may make recommendations regarding helpful treatments to consider. Patients with a diagnosis of conditions such as periodontitis, however, may benefit from visits to the dentist more often, typically every three months, until their oral health is under control.
How often should a child come to the dental office?
Dr. Brianne Luu is pleased to offer dental care to patients of all ages, including the younger members of the family. It is recommended that children start seeing the dentist as soon as their first tooth erupts, or by their first birthday at the latest. After that, visits should occur every six months. These visits early on are essential to ensure children are building a trusting relationship with our dental providers. This alleviates many dental fears for children.
Additionally, children are educated during their appointments on how to care for their smile, and parents are welcome to ask any questions they may have about their child’s oral health. This education period is beneficial to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding how to manage and maintain a healthy smile for life. By building a proper foundation for oral health and wellness, many children will continue through life, understanding the importance of taking care of their smile!
What happens if problems arise between appointments?
Patients are also urged to call for an appointment at Gentle Care Dentistry if they experience something in-between their routine recall appointments. The following situations may require an extra appointment at the dental office:
- Loose or lost restoration
- Ill-fitting dentures or oral appliances
- Severe toothache
- Broken restoration
- Bleeding or swelling of the gum tissues
- A sensitivity that may indicate the formation of a cavity
- Injury to the teeth or soft tissues
Are you ready to work with a team of professionals who provide dental care for the entire family?
Contact the team at Gentle Care Dentistry today to schedule your appointment and get started taking control of your oral health and wellness with routine dental visits. Our practice can be reached by calling (626) 498-1766 and visiting at Suite A at 310 North Citrus Avenue in Azusa, California.