Taking care of your oral health is full-time work. While daily brushing and flossing go a long way towards preventing cavities and gum disease, you’ll need to visit a dentist for general dental care throughout the year for a thorough checkup and cleaning. Dr. Wayne Myles enjoys the opportunity to “give back” by helping patients prevent diseases that can lead to tooth loss, allowing them to continue to enjoy full, healthy smiles.
Regular dental visits and dental checkups in our Reston, VA dental office include a dental exam and dental cleaning. A dental checkup is a thorough examination of the teeth and gums. Even if you haven’t noticed any signs of tooth decay or a gum infection, these oral problems can often develop in ways that are hard to detect without a professional’s help; if they’re found early on, they can usually be treated more easily.
During a dental cleaning, Dr. Myles can use special tools to get rid of plaque and tartar in any areas that you’ve missed while brushing; afterward, he can polish your teeth to remove stains, creating a fresher look.
How Often Will I Need a Dental Checkup?
In most cases, it’s recommended to visit the dentist twice a year for checkups and cleanings. However, if you have poor oral health in general, you might need to come in more often. Other reasons for more frequent visits include:
- Pregnancy increases the risk of gum disease
- Cancer treatment
- Certain health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and HIV
Dr. Myles can evaluate the state of your teeth and gums and help determine the frequency of care needed in order to maintain excellent oral health.
Why Tooth Brushing and Flossing Aren’t Enough
Of course, we highly encourage you to be proactive in cavity prevention through regular brushing and flossing, but by themselves, these practices may not be enough. There are a lot of areas in your mouth that you need to keep clean, and it can be very easy to miss certain places. The back teeth in particular tend to develop cavities because they’re harder to reach and effectively clean. Worse, plaque that’s hardened into tartar can’t be removed through regular brushing, so if you miss a spot, it might reach the point where you can’t get rid of the problem on your own.
At Smiles by Myles, we’ll get rid of any tartar we find and can identify areas that need particularly close attention. Not only can we thoroughly clean your mouth, but we can also give you advice on improving your own oral hygiene routine.
Can Regular Oral Health Checkups Save Me Money?
If Dr. Myles does not discover and treat cavities quickly, they can cause a lot of damage – sometimes irreversibly. To protect your health, you’ll need to undergo costly procedures such as root canal therapy. If you end up needing a tooth extraction, your choices are to get a replacement or leave the space empty (which can cause further health issues). Either option can be costly.
Regular preventive care lets you avoid the financial consequences of needing to address infected or missing teeth. In other words, dental checkups are as good for your wallet as they are for your smile! Ready for your appointment? Request a dental consultation at our Reston dentist office today!
Checkups and Cleanings FAQs
Do I still need to schedule a dental checkup if I’m not having problems?
There is never a reason to skip a regular checkup, even if your teeth are fine. Many dental problems can develop without showing any obvious symptoms. Additionally, only a dentist can diagnose and treat issues in the early stages. Prompt treatment means less damage to your teeth and gums. Not to mention it will be much more affordable. Dentist appointments every six months are just as important as brushing your teeth every day!
What happens during a dental checkup?
Dr. Myles will accomplish a lot during the short visit to our dentist office. Dental x-rays are typically the first thing we do. These are necessary to look for underlying issues. We take these once a year unless you come in with a problem. Then a dental hygienist will examine your mouth and teeth. They will be begin to gently scrape all the excess tartar off your teeth. Next, the hygienist will polish your teeth and floss in between them. Last, Dr. Myles will meet with you to see if you have any questions or concerns. He will examine your teeth to look for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, or bite problems. If you require further treatment, a treatment plan will be setup for you. If no issues are found, then you are done. Most patients are in and out in less than an hour.
Will my dental insurance cover the checkup?
Most dental insurance plans cover two regular checkups a year. Additionally, they will cover x-rays that are taken once a year. However, every policy is different and we encourage you to review your plan to learn more.
Who will clean my teeth at the checkup?
Dr. Myles employs experienced dental hygienists to clean your teeth. A hygienists is a licensed dental professional that is thoroughly trained to clean teeth. Our hygienists possess the training necessary to gently scale and polish your teeth. Additionally, they will show you how to properly brush your teeth and floss. They play a vital role in keeping our patients healthy.