It seems like every time you leave the dentist’s office, the receptionist wants to schedule you for your next visit in six months. Maybe you think it’s a hassle, after all, your appointment went fine and there’s no sign of decay. Or perhaps your schedule isn’t constant. Your kids’ school activities change, your work schedule fluctuates, and setting up an appointment six months in advance seems silly if you’re just going to have to break it again. But the truth is, you need to make and keep your routine to benefit your overall dental health.
What Can Happen in Six Months?
Half a year is just enough time for plaque and calcified tartar to build up, for bacteria to begin eating away at the enamel and dentin of your teeth, for small cavities to develop. Most of the time, if a cavity has developed in six months, it’s small and relatively easy to fill and restore. But when you wait longer, a year, maybe two, the decay will spread deeper into the tooth or its nerve. Not only will the repair be more invasive, but you’ve given the bacteria that causes the decay a chance to spread to your other teeth.
It’s Not Just About Your Teeth
One of the most important things that happens during your six-month checkup and cleaning is a periodontal exam. At Pier Dental Centre, we know that your gum health is a predictor of your overall wellness.
Without the right care, bacteria can cause inflammation, which allows biofilm to get under your gums and into your bloodstream. Poor periodontal health may be a predictor of heart disease, fertility and pregnancy problems, and diabetes among other problems. But during your six-month visit, our caring dental professionals will check for deep pockets surrounding the teeth, calculus build up, and inflammation. If there’s a problem, we’ll be able to stop it quickly before it spreads to the surrounding gum tissue.
When cancer is caught early, the prognosis is almost always better. Oral cancer screenings are an important part of your six-month appointment. Dr. Cegielski will check the soft tissues under your tongue, around your cheeks, and toward the back of your mouth for any signs of lesions or pre-pathological tissue that might indicate the presence an oral cancer.
So, the next time the front office wants to schedule your next appointment before you leave, take a look at your calendar. Chances are, there isn’t much on it for six months away, and you’ll have your pick of spots at our office. Your kids’ schedules and your schedule can all be worked around it for a couple hours one day. But putting it off could mean it slips your mind, and you easily fall behind on your routine.
When you’re ready to schedule your next visit, call our North Vancouver dental office to set the time. We’ll be happy to see you at our office, and you’ll be smiling when you leave with healthy teeth!