Most people will need to see our dentist every six months, but if you have great oral health then we may not need to see you as often. Conversely, if you have oral health problems or other medical issues, which affect your dental health, you might benefit from seeing us more frequently. Your regular dental examinations are every bit as important as your regular medical check-ups.
Your teeth and gums will be gently yet thoroughly examined, and the results of this examination are compared with your last visit, which helps us to continually and closely monitor any changes to your dental health. Your oral tissues including the inside of your cheeks, the floor and roof of your mouth and your tongue are periodically examined in an oral cancer screening. A set of digital dental x-rays is taken at regular intervals to monitor areas of your mouth hidden from view. The idea is to pick up any small changes to your dental health, hopefully well before you’ve noticed anything is wrong.
If we do notice any signs of problems, your dentist will provide you with a written treatment plan detailing all possible options and the costs. We do explain every choice in detail, but please ask if there’s something you don’t understand.
Plaque is a soft whitish film that clings to the teeth. It is composed of billions of bacteria that feed on sugars in the mouth. Plaque is responsible for causing cavities and gum disease.
Many of the foods that you eat cause the bacteria in your mouth to produce acids. Sugary foods, such as sweets and biscuits, are not the only culprits. Starches, such as bread, crackers, and cereal, also cause acids to form. Even one small intake of sugar will cause acid production that will attack the teeth for approximately 40-50 minutes. Have another intake (even one mouthful of a soft drink) and they will dissolve for a further 40-50minutes. It is not the amount of sugary snack that is important, it is the frequency of the intakes that you have. If you snack often, your teeth could be dissolving all day long. After many acid attacks, your teeth will decay.
Plaque also produces substances that irritate the gums making them red, tender or causing them to bleed easily. After a while gums may pull away from the teeth. Pockets form and fill with more bacteria and pus. If the gums are not treated the bone around the teeth can be destroyed. The teeth may become loose and have to be removed. In fact, more teeth are lost through gum disease than decay in adults.