The importance of healthy teeth and regular check-ups

Achieving a beautiful and healthy smile, in most cases, is as easy as utilising good habits and visiting your dentist regularly.

It's recommended you visit at least twice a year.

Studfield Dental Group provides quality dental care, and specialise in treating even the most anxious patients.

What to expect from your visit

A typical visit for your regular oral health check-up includes 2 parts – the check-up, and the clean.

The check-up – First, your dental professional will look for any cavities, plaque or tartar on your teeth.

What is plaque and tartar? Plaque is bacteria that coats your teeth with a clear, sticky layer. When plaque builds up over time, it can become tartar, which cannot be removed with simple brushing and flossing; build up of these bacteria are known to cause oral diseases.

Gums – following this, your dentist will check the overall health of your gums, and spacing between your teeth. When gums are healthy the spaces are shallow, where gums affected by disease tend to have deeper spaces. A good check-up should include examining your tongue, throat, face, head, and neck for any indication of trouble, swelling, or cancer.

The clean – while plaque can be cleaned from your teeth by brushing and flossing regularly at home, tartar needs to be removed with a special tool operated by your trusted dental professional. This process is called scaling and removes both plaque and tartar. Scaling is a painless procedure.

Polish – in most cases a gritty paste is used, which aids in removing any surface stains on your teeth.

Floss - And finally, your dentist will use floss to ensure the spaces between your teeth are clean.

What you can do between visits:

Taking care of your teeth and gums between visits is easy! The plaque will continuously form on your teeth but can be removed with regular brushing and flossing. Here are a few tips to get you started:

• Brush your teeth at least twice a day, using a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
• Floss once a day, at least.
• Using a mouth rinse is great for ridding your mouth of plaque bacteria, as well as keeping your breath fresh.

What happens when you don't visit your dentist?

Despite your best efforts, your teeth will always need a little specialist attention – much like a special service for your car, or a treatment for sun-damaged hair/skin. Failure to visit your dentist regularly can result in the following costly, painful, but mostly preventable, complications:

• Missing early detection of oral cancer
• Gum disease – bacteria from inflammation of the gums and periodontal disease can enter your bloodstream, travel to the arteries in your heart and cause atherosclerosis (a hardening of the arteries)
• Loss of teeth – also a result of gum disease
• Dementia – gingivitis produces a bacteria that may enter your brain through nerve channels in your head, or through the bloodstream, which may lead to the development of Alzheimer's disease
• Diabetic complications
• Respiratory infections – you might think we've lost the plot now, but just think about it for a moment – continuously inhaling bacteria from infected teeth and gums over a period of time is bound to have an effect! The Journal of Periodontology warns that gum disease could even aid in the contraction of infections such as pneumonia.

Don't risk your overall health and well-being just to spare a few moments in the dentist chair!

Here at Studfield Dental Group, we take your oral health seriously – you should too! Book your appointment with our friendly, professional and qualified team today, for a dental experience that's above the rest!