Waterloo West Dentistry
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The Importance of Regular Dental Exams

If you are putting off a visit to the dentist, you may want to consider scheduling a dental exam soon, and get back into the habit of regular visits. The importance of regular dental exams are part of preventative dental care, and provide significant benefits.

What's Included in a Dental Checkup?

At your dental exam, your dentist will complete a thorough checkup of your entire mouth, to ensure you have healthy teeth and gums.

A dental hygienist will start off with a dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar. Even with excellent oral hygiene, you are likely to still have some buildup that needs to be professionally removed.

Your dentist will then examine your mouth, and may want to take x-rays of your teeth or conduct other diagnostics.

Regular dental checkups are a critical part of preventative dental care and are as important as brushing and flossing daily.

a young girl sitting in a dental chair with a dentist examining her teeth.

How Often Do You Need a Dental Examination?

Check with your dentist or dental hygienist on how often you should schedule a dental visit, but most people are recommended to come every six months. People with gum disease or who have a history of cavities and other oral health conditions may benefit from coming more often. Also, your dentist may recommend you come for a dental exam and cleaning more often if you have heart disease, diabetes, or immune conditions or are on medications that cause dry mouth. Smokers should also have more frequent dental cleanings and checkups.

How Do Regular Dental Visits Help?

There are several benefits to making the time to schedule your next dental checkup.

Preventive Care To Avoid Oral Health Problems

Good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing, plus a good diet and regular dental checkups are each important aspects of preventative dental care. Cleaning your teeth and gums to remove bacteria and prevent tooth decay and gum disease, and avoiding poor nutrition that can also lead to oral health issues are things you can do at home.

While it may be hard to fit in regular dental exams and cleanings on top of a busy schedule, it's important to not neglect this third portion of preventive dental care.

Checkups and cleanings are part of preventive dentistry. Dentists thoroughly screen you for any oral health problems at the earliest possible stage, including oral cancer, and dental hygienists will carefully remove any plaque and tartar buildup you have. This will help prevent cavities and other oral health issues.

Man suffering from strong toothache

Links Between Dental Health and Other Health Problems

Poor oral health has been linked to various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and more. Infection from gum disease can spread and eventually become systemic if left untreated.

Your dentist screens you for oral health concerns, including oral cancer, which could have negative impacts on your overall health.

Be sure to also tell your dentist about any new conditions you have, or any new medications or treatments you may be on, as these could impact your dental health.

Address Any Issues at the Early Stages

The importance of regular dental exams help your dentist catch any problems while they are only minor, before they become more significant. With dental x-rays and other diagnostics, your dentist can diagnose issues like gingivitis or tooth decay before you may notice anything. This saves you from having to schedule an emergency visit for a painful situation later.

Save Money

If you are putting off regular dental checkups because you are concerned about costs, delaying treatment may be costing you more. Preventative dentistry prevents issues or catches them early on, so you can avoid needing more complex and costly procedures later on.


Regular dental cleanings keep your teeth looking their best. Your dental hygienist will remove tartar which shows as yellow to dark brown marks on your teeth, and will polish away other surface stains, such as from coffee or tea.

Should You Wait For Your Next Dental Checkup?

If you are experiencing any toothache, pain, or sensitivity, or if you have sore, red, or swollen gums, don't wait for your next regular dental exam. These could be signs of significant concerns, especially if you also have a fever, and you should seek treatment right away.

At Waterloo West Dentistry, we offer a friendly and relaxed atmosphere for your regular dental exams and cleanings. If you have dental anxiety, we can help put you at ease, to make your checkup more pleasant. If you haven't been to the dentist for a while, give us a call today, and make your dental health a priority again.

Andrew Darroch

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