Visiting the dentist is not an exciting activity for many people. However, it is an important part of your healthcare routine. Not only do regular dental examinations and cleanings take care of existing problems, they prevent them from happening in the first place. You can learn what it takes to keep your teeth and gums healthy with help from your Kalamazoo, MI dentist Dr. Mark E. Richardson.
The Importance of Regular Dental Visits
Many people see their dentist when they have a problem or begin to feel pain. Seeing your dentist every six months allows him the opportunity to repair any problems which may arise, such as tooth decay and gum disease. Additionally, these appointments keep your teeth healthy. Seeing your dentist twice a year could be the difference between a simple tooth filling and root canal therapy.
When should I see my dentist?
You should visit your dentist two times a year. If you experience one of the following conditions, you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible:
- tooth pain
- severe sensitivity to hot or cold
- a broken tooth
- a knocked out tooth
- a swollen pocket of pus on the gum tissue
- severely bleeding or swollen gums
What can I expect at a visit?
During your appointment, Dr. Richardson will examine your entire mouth, including the teeth, gums, and other oral tissues. He may take x-rays to visually analyze any bone loss which has occurred and to check for tooth decay. Your head, neck, and jaw are also part of the examination, ensuring there are no signs of abnormalities or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. You will also be checked for any signs of oral cancer and vitamin deficiencies. Your hygienist then cleans your teeth to remove any plaque or tartar buildup and polishes them to a shine. Any other procedures which need to be completed are also carried out.
How can I keep my teeth and gums healthy between dental visits?
Bacteria in your mouth build up if they are not brushed away. These bacteria turn to sticky plaque, a thin film which coats your teeth. Over time, if the plaque remains on the teeth, it hardens into tartar. This process happens very quickly, making twice daily brushing and flossing crucial to the prevention of tooth decay and gum disease. If you use mouthwash, swish and gargle for at least 45 seconds and do not wash your mouth out with water afterward.
For more information on regular dental examinations and cleanings, contact Mark E. Richardson, DDS in Kalamazoo, MI. Call (269) 343-6907 to schedule your appointment today.
Let the Smiles Begin!