As you rush through your daily life, it’s easy to let your annual dental exam fall by the wayside. Before you know it, it’s been two years since you’ve seen a dentist’s chair. They may seem “just routine,” but your visits to your dentist in Phoenix are an essential part of keeping your teeth and gums healthy for six key reasons.

1. Fighting Plaque and TartarAnnual Visit Phoenix Dentist

Plaque is a sticky, clear film of bacteria that covers all of your teeth. While harmless on their own, plaque bacteria have a sweet tooth. They feed on the sugars in the foods you eat and release acidic byproducts as they go. The acid eats away at your tooth enamel, leading to sensitivity, gum disease and cavities.

Adequate daily flossing and brushing sweeps most plaque away, but it’s difficult to clean right next to your gum line. Plaque and mineral deposits collect there and harden into a yellow or brown buildup called tartar. As tartar builds up, it can irritate the gums and become a breeding ground for even more plaque bacteria.

During your annual visit, you’ll receive a thorough, professional cleaning on every surface of your teeth. Plaque and tartar buildup will be removed with specialized instruments, and your teeth will even be flossed. Your dentist’s instruments allow for the most complete cleaning possible. Your teeth and gums will also be checked for any sign of disease. Catching problems early can help prevent painful and expensive problems and maintain a full, beautiful smile.

2. Brightening Your Smile

There’s nothing like a good polish to bring out the radiance in your smile. Professional dental cleanings help remove surface staining from your teeth, including coffee, tea and wine stains. You’ll walk out with a cleaner, brighter looking teeth.

If you want your smile even whiter, your dentist in Phoenix can help. Professional whitening services are available as both in-office and take home services. You can consult with your dentist during your annual exam or schedule your whitening service along with your exam.

3. Seeing Beneath the Surface

Not every dental concern can be seen by the naked eye. Dental x-rays are a common part of annual exams. Depending on your oral health, your dentist may recommend having them done either one or twice a year. X-rays show the underlying condition of your teeth and jaw and can reveal concerns like forming cavities, impacted teeth, bone loss, abscesses and tumors.

There are four types of dental x-rays:

4. Screening for Cancer

Cancer screening is a quiet but routine aspect of annual oral exams. By checking for discoloration, growths, tooth sensitivities and abnormalities on x-rays, your dentist is keeping an eye out for common signs of oral cancer.

Early diagnosis is a critical aspect of cancer treatment, and while you might not notice the subtle warning signs, your dentist will. Your dentist’s screening procedure is easy and painless. All you have to do is make your appointment!

5. Catching Daily Problems

Your exam isn’t just a quick polish and a few x-rays. Your teeth are a reflection of your daily habits, from the foods you eat to the medications you take. If something is impacting your oral health on a day-to-day basis, your annual exam gives your dentist an opportunity to notice it.

When you visit your dentist in Phoenix, you’ll be asked about your brushing and flossing habits to make sure you’re cleaning effectively. Some of the questions might surprise you. You could be asked if you have frequent headaches. This can be a sign of day or nighttime teeth grinding. What medications you take can cause tooth yellowing and dry mouth. You might never notice these concerns, but your dentist is equipped to spot and address them.

6. Addressing Your Concerns

Your annual visit is a great reminder of any oral health concerns you may have noticed but put off taking care of. That on-again-off-again tooth pain, recurring canker sore or bothersome chipped tooth can all be looked at during your visit.

A visit to your dentist in Phoenix is quick, easy and crucial for your oral health. If you need to make an appointment, give our office a call today. We’re looking forward to seeing you!