The terms “dental checkup” and “dental cleaning” are often used interchangeably, but they aren’t the same. A dental cleaning is just one component (albeit an important one) of a dental checkup.
Here at Ardsley Dental Spa in Ardsley, New York, our award-winning team offers routine checkups 一 complete with thorough examinations, digital X-rays, professional dental cleanings, and oral cancer screenings.
Continue reading to learn more about the importance of routine checkups, courtesy of Hinna Chaudhry, DMD.
Routine checkups help prevent tooth decay and gum disease
Tooth decay can quickly escalate from a small cavity to a larger one that requires more interventions. You might need a dental crown, for example, to protect your tooth after a large filling. Routine checkups help prevent tooth decay by targeting the source of decay: plaque.
Plaque is a sticky, bacteria-laden biofilm that accumulates on your teeth. The bacteria in plaque secrete acid. If plaque isn’t removed daily, the acid can erode your tooth enamel. In addition to cavities, plaque causes tartar, gum disease, halitosis, and in severe cases, tooth loss.
During your routine checkup, we examine your mouth and look for any trouble spots of plaque and/or tartar. We remove plaque and tartar with a tool called a scaler.
Spotting red flags leads to swift interventions
Routine checkups allow Dr. Chaudhry to spot small problems and treat them quickly.
For example, she can repair a small chip in one of your teeth before it cuts your lip or becomes infected. Swift intervention in this case helps you avoid complications of a tooth infection.
Oral cancer screenings are part of routine care
Because smoking is one of the leading causes of oral cancer, you might not think twice about oral cancer if you’re not a smoker.
However, chewing tobacco, UV exposure, age, poor nutrition, and drinking alcohol are also risk factors for oral cancer. In short, oral cancer affects both smokers and non-smokers, although the location of the lesions may vary.
Oral cancer screenings are quick and painless. During your screening, we look for any signs of oral cancer, including sores that won’t heal, white or red patches, lumps, bumps, or any other suspicious lesions.
Detecting oral cancer early improves your treatment outcomes, making this an invaluable part of your routine checkup.
It’s not just about oral care
Routine checkups support your overall health too. Poor oral health, particularly gum disease, affects other parts of your body.
Research shows that gum disease can increase your risk of heart disease. Researchers have also linked gum disease with arthritis and osteoporosis. Another large study linked gum disease with Alzheimer’s disease.
Routine dental care saves you time and money
Routine dental care helps you save time and money in the long run. Postponing a routine checkup could cause issues to build up, for example, gingivitis progressing to advanced gum disease. Treating gum disease is more time-consuming and costly than treating gingivitis.
Put your oral health first with a routine checkup
We’re on a mission to help you achieve a healthy 一 and beautiful 一 smile, and a healthy smile starts with a routine checkup. If you’re due or overdue for a checkup, call Ardsley Dental Spa at 914-348-9815 today or book your appointment online 24/7.