We’ve been told for most of our lives to brush our teeth twice a day, floss at least once, and visit the dentist every six months for a checkup. If you’ve heeded this advice, chances are your dentist tells you what a great job you’ve been doing taking care of your mouth and teeth. A few lucky people may never need any dental work done. That does not mean, however, that the dental checkup is unnecessary. Dr. Darlene Henry explains the importance of your dental checkup and why you shouldn’t ignore it.

Maintaining your Oral Health

Brushing and flossing removes bacteria and plaque from your teeth and gums before they have a chance to cause damage. Unfortunately, plaque clings to every surface of the tooth, including below the gum line. While you may pay careful attention to brushing every surface and flossing in between every tooth, nobody is perfect, and you may miss some spots or simply be unable to reach them. When plaque remains for more than 48 hours, it calcifies (hardens) into tartar. Unlike plaque, tartar cannot be removed by simply brushing, flossing, or rinsing. Our hygienist will conduct a thorough, professional cleaning to remove all traces of tartar, especially along the gum line, to prevent the formation of gum disease. If tartar is not caught and removed during your checkup and cleaning, you may not know that you’re at risk until your gums exhibit signs, at which point gingivitis has already set in, and gum disease isn’t far behind.

Early Detection at Your Kentucky Dental Checkup

Aside from gum disease, your mouth can tell you a lot about what’s going on in your body as well. Early signs of many systemic diseases, including oral cancer, first appear as lesions in the mouth or other oral troubles. As with all oral and overall health issues, early detection can be the defining factor in successful treatment. To learn more about maintaining and optimizing your oral health, or to schedule a consultation, checkup, or cleaning, call our Erlanger, Kentucky dentist’s office at (859) 344-8500.