Are 6-Month Dental Checkups Necessary?

We talk a lot about dental health here at Tendercare Dental. That’s because it’s something we’re passionate about! We don’t just want to fix dental problems for patients after they occur. We want to partner with our patients to prevent dental problems from developing in the first place.

If you’ve ever been under regular dental care, your dentist likely pushed for you to return every six months for a dental cleaning or checkup. Maybe your old dentist never explained what this was for exactly, and you’re wondering whether those checkups are really needed.

Well, we’re here to tell you they are. But don’t take our word for it. Keep reading to learn why those checkups are so important and why we’re so passionate about this topic.

Home Care Is Essential, but Incomplete

First, we have to say that the most important aspect of your dental health routine is what you do at home. Your home dental health routine should include the following:

  • Brush twice daily, 2 minutes each time. We recommend a quality electric toothbrush like Sonicare.
  • Floss each night. Brushing can’t reach the space between your teeth. When food get stuck and remains in place, it can lead to decay.
  • Limit sugary foods and drinks, and when you do indulge, brush (or at least rinse) soon after consumption.
  • If you grind your teeth at night, wear a mouth guard when you sleep.

While it’s essential to follow a good routine at home, it’s not quite enough. Brushing and flossing doesn’t take care of all plaque and tartar in your mouth, and you typically won’t notice any developing problems until they’re quite far along.

Prevention Beats Treatment Every Time

Benefits of coming in every six months for a dental checkup include these:

  • Deep cleaning accomplishes more than you can do on your own at home
  • Your dentist can spot problem areas before they get out of hand
  • You can get coaching on how to improve your home dental health routine

When you come in every six months for dental checkups, you get a deep cleaning that goes far beyond what you can do on your own at home. Think about your home. Dusting and vacuuming are important, and you do those tasks regularly. But you still need to do deep cleaning every so often. Dusting and vacuuming aren’t enough on their own.

It’s the same way in your mouth. Every six months or so, you need a deep clean, and that’s what you get at the dentist.

You also get a healthy dose of prevention. When you have regular checkups, TenderCare dentists will check for developing problems. For example, we can find small cavities (areas of decay) before they are even bothering you. We use the latest technologies most other offices in Portland don’t have, such as the DIAGNOdent, a small laser instrument which scans your teeth for hidden decay. It’s far better to deal with a cavity when it’s small and minor. If you wait until you’re experiencing moderate to severe tooth pain, the cavity will be much more difficult to repair. It could even lead to a root canal or extraction in the future.

Wrapping Up

Seeing the dentist regularly (ideally every six months) is a crucial part of your oral health routine. If you live in the Portland area, Tendercare Dental is here to serve you. With eight locations in the Portland area metro, you’ll find one that’s convenient for you. Call us today or schedule a cleaning online!