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Ensure Your Teeth Are Healthy with Regular Cleanings & Checkups

When it comes to our health, unfortunately so many of us don’t do anything until we start experiencing problems. We take our vehicles for regular maintenance and make sure our lawns are mowed, but all to often ignore our most valuable asset – our health. People take their teeth for granted until decay sets in and the dental drill is turned on.  There’s an easier and less painful way to keep your teeth healthy. Regular dental cleanings and dental checkups are the only way in the long run to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Make sure you’re protecting your most valuable asset and don’t wait until it’s too late.  Healthy bright smiles are attractive and give you confidence.  Being able to chew food pain-free is pretty nice too! Contact West Hill Family Dental today to schedule your appointment for a checkup and cleaning.


6 Reasons You Should Get Regular Dental Checkups

When we say “regular dental checkup” we don’t mean once a week, or once a month. A regular dental checkup is generally only twice a year – 2 days out of 365 days.  And it’s not even days, it’s more like an hour. And what does making this time for your health accomplish?

  1. Oral Cancer Detection – Cancer is a terrible disease that attacks the body in various ways. One avenue of attack is the mouth. The key to defeating cancer is early detection. If left undetected we all know what can happen. Thankfully, an early stage oral cancer diagnosis is often easily treatable. Dr. Hemphill is highly trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of oral cancer.  With regular dental check-ups the chances of detecting oral cancer in the early stages increase dramatically.
  2. Plaque, Tarter, and Cavities – Even if you’re an Olympic caliber daily brusher and flosser, there are still small areas in your mouth that are missed by regular brushing and flossing. As plaque builds up it becomes more difficult to remove and over time becomes impossible to remove without professional help.
  3. Gum Disease – Plaque and tartar buildup not only cause tooth decay but also erode your mouth’s supportive structures. This happens when tartar buildup causes an infection where the gum is connected to the tooth, which makes the gum pull away from the tooth. The infection is called gingivitis and as it progresses, the tissue attachment breaks down. Regular checkups give you the tools to stop gingivitis in its tracks.
  4. Got Bad Habits? – There are more than a few bad habits that can negatively impact your oral health, some of which you may not even realize are causing issues. Chewing ice, biting your nails, clenching your jaw, grinding your teeth, eating sticky or hard sweets, brushing your teeth too hard, and many more. During your check-up these bad habits will be identified and you’ll be given tools and solutions to make corrections.
  5. X-Ray Feedback – A critical part of your checkup is getting an inside look at what’s going on inside your teeth and jaw. X-ray images allow us to see what is happening beneath the surfaces of your mouth and find issues that are invisible to the eye. This is especially critical in combating destructive diseases that show little to no symptoms but progress rapidly.
  6. Head, Neck, and Lymph Node Checks – In addition to checking your mouth, gums, and tongue for signs of oral cancer, Dr. Hemphill will also check your neck, jaw, and lymph nodes – located just below your jawline – for any swelling, lumps, or other abnormalities. This is important because swollen lymph nodes do not necessarily hurt, but when identified properly can be a sign of certain kinds of cancer or other diseases that require immediate attention.

6 Reasons You Should Get Regular Dental Cleanings

When you get your regular check-up you’ll also get your regular cleaning. Just like the checkup there are several major benefits to getting your teeth professionally cleaned on a regular basis.

  1. Cavity Prevention – Plaque, the white film that builds up on your teeth, is the leading cause of tooth decay. It’s an acid-based substance that eats away at your tooth enamel and if left untreated, leads to cavities. Dental cleanings ensure the plaque that has gathered in the hard to reach places is removed.
  1. Prevent Tooth Loss – Gum disease, which starts with an increase in plaque accumulation is the leading cause of tooth loss. As gum disease advances, it can destroy the supporting bone in your jaw, causing teeth to loosen and eventually fall out. Regular dental cleanings combined with good daily oral hygiene habits will save your teeth.
  2. Brighter Smile – Lots of people enjoy drinking coffee, tea, and wine. Some enjoy tobacco. All of these stain your teeth. Dental cleanings help reduce built-up stains and leave your teeth polished and looking fresh.
  3. Freshens Bad Breath – Staying on top of your oral hygiene is the best way to prevent bad breath. Even if you brush and floss daily, a regular cleaning will get to areas you’re unable to reach and remove any debris or buildup that is contributing to bad breath.
  4. Overall Health Boost – Numerous studies have shown a clear connection between oral health and overall health. Regular dental cleanings may help lower your risk for some diseases.
  5. Money Saver – Take advantage of your dental benefits. Most dental plans have low or no copayments/coinsurance for dental cleanings. If you take advantage and adopt a preventative approach you’ll save money in the long run by avoiding more costly dental procedures.

Benefits of Dental Sealants

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, dental sealants reduce cavities by 86% in the first year and 58% after four years.

Dental sealants are usually used to protect children’s teeth. The sealant is a protective barrier that is applied to the surface of a tooth to prevent cavities. The barrier helps to keep out food particles and bacteria, effectively reducing the chances of developing a cavity. Please ask us about dental sealants during your next visit. They can be a great benefit for your children.

Young woman in a dental chair after treatment watching her nice teeth in a mirror.
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