You probably already know how important regular dental visits are for keeping your teeth and gums in good shape -- besides brushing and flossing, a biannual checkup might be the best thing you can do for your oral health. But what you might not know is that there's a strong relationship between your oral health and your overall health, so taking good care of your mouth is a big part of taking care of your whole body.
What to Expect
A typical checkup and dental cleaning appointment involves a careful inspection of your mouth, teeth and gums, looking for any signs of gum disease, loose or broken teeth, a damaged tooth filling or tooth decay.
Dental X-rays will likely be taken. Some exams may include an examination of your head and neck, your bite and the movement of your jaw.
Your teeth will also be thoroughly cleaned, polished and flossed, leaving them fresh and gleaming.
Thinking Outside the Mouth
The benefits of maintaining that wholesome smile are plain to see, boosting confidence and improving your overall sense of well-being. But a healthy mouth is good for you in other ways, too.
Bacteria from untreated gum disease can actually spread infection to other parts of your body. Pregnant women may be at particular risk. If necessary, your dentist may ask you to return more frequently for gum disease treatment.
Also, some non-dental conditions have symptoms that appear in the mouth. A dental examination can reveal signs of vitamin deficiencies, osteoporosis or more serious conditions such as diabetes or oral cancer.
Finally, a regular checkup can even be good for your pocketbook. Identifying and treating minor problems like cavities early on can spare you the time and expense of more complicated dentistry procedures such as a tooth extraction or root canal.