Regular visits to the dentist help to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Not only do regular visits and cleanings prevent dental issues from occurring, but many problems can be detected early by a professional. Early detection means less pain and less treatment for the patient. On average, most americans have two dental checkups each year. Some people may need more frequent visits if they are high risk for dental disease. High risk patients may include smokers, diabetics, those who already have gum disease or regularly have cavities and plaque build up. Children should start to visit the dentist when the first tooth appears, usually before the child turns one. Biannual check ups are the standard recommendation. Dr. Minami will advise if more frequent visits are needed, depending on the oral health of the patient.
Most dental visits consist of a check up and a cleaning. During the check up the patient’s teeth and overall oral health are assessed and any issues will be addressed by the dentist. Most of the time, a hygienist will complete the cleaning portion of the visit to the dentist. Any plaque build-up will be removed with a special tool in a process called scaling. Once the build up is removed, the patient’s teeth will be polished with a gritty cleansing paste which removes any surface stains.
Pediatric dentists go through additional training to specialize in the growth and development of teeth in children, their facial and jaw structure and managing the fears of young patients. When examining a child, a dentist looks for alignment or bite issues as well as the overall oral health of the child. In adults, dentists look for signs of gum disease, cracked teeth and cavities.
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