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If you’re not keeping up with your dental exams, you may be putting your oral health at risk. There are several reasons that your dentist needs to see you every six months and these visits are considered an essential part of your overall oral care. Even though you may be brushing and flossing as recommended, missing your routine dental visits can open you up to a variety of dental and physical health problems.

The Teeth Cleaning is Important

The first part of your routine dental exam is the teeth cleaning. This is a more thorough cleaning than you can do at home with your toothbrush. The dentist uses special tools to remove the plaque that’s building upon the surface of your teeth. If the plaque is left to build up, it will develop into tartar, which is the yellow build-up that can be seen on unhealthy teeth. If plaque isn’t removed, it can infect the gum tissue and break down the enamel on your teeth.

The Exam Looks for Problems

After your dentist finishes the cleaning, he will proceed with the rest of the exam. The reason this is important to undergo every six months is that it provides an opportunity for your dentist to identify problems. He may spot a cavity that’s early in development, or find that a tooth has chipped or cracked. By spotting these problems early, they can be treated with a minimally invasive procedure. A problem that’s allowed to worsen over time will require a more complicated procedure that will take longer, cause more discomfort, and cost more to treat.

Spotting the Signs of Oral Cancer

The average person probably doesn’t think about oral cancer very often, but it’s one of the most common causes of cancer-related deaths. While oral cancer can be fatal, diagnosing it early is key to a more successful response to treatment. Your dentist will know how to spot the early signs of oral cancer, which means you will also have more treatment options.

As you can see, visiting your dentist twice per year is essential to your overall oral health. If you tend to forget to make these appointments, setting up reminders on your phone can help you remember. Maintaining a good relationship with your dentist will benefit you throughout your lifetime.