The importance of regular dental checkups

Regular visits to the dentist are indispensable to preserve the health of our teeth and gums. We generally recommend scheduling an appointment every six months.


The routine checkup looks for the presence of tooth decay, dental plaque or tartar on the teeth. Dental plaque is a whitish deposit that adheres to the surface of the teeth. Mainly composed of bacteria, it hardens and is transformed into tartar if it is not eliminated in a timely manner. Unfortunately, at this stage, only a dental professional can solve the problem. If you neglect to do so, various problems threaten to appear sooner or later.


The second stage of the checkup is to examine the gums with an instrument to measure the space between the teeth and the gums. If this space is minimal, this means your gums are doing well. On the other hand, if the space is more pronounced, inflammation is present. Of course, this examination accounts for each patient’s special conditions (eating habits, smoking, saliva characteristics, diabetes, etc.). Oral cancer detection tests are also available.


As you know, brushing your teeth and using dental floss twice a day is the best way to loosen plaque. If plaque is not removed completely, it hardens into tartar. Unfortunately, only a dental professional can be of much help once things reach this stage. 


After a complete oral examination, the dental hygienist removes tartar from your teeth with a small, purpose-made metal curette. Once the tartar has been removed, the hygienist usually polishes the teeth to remove any stains visible on the tooth surface using a grainy paste applied to the electric rotary tooth cleaning tool. To also ensure that areas between the teeth have been properly cleaned, the hygienist ends the session with dental floss.


If you occasionally omit to visit the dentist, you may be plagued by chronic halitosis (persistent bad breath) or worse still, your gums could be seriously affected. Untreated gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in persons over 35 years of age.