Part of a good oral hygiene routine is regular appointments with your dentist. These appointments, which include cleanings and exams, are key to good oral health. Many people may (wrongly) believe that, if they brush and floss diligently, they can skip routine cleanings. The fact is, even the most careful home cleaning can leave behind traces of plaque and/or food debris, especially in the hard-to-clean areas in the back. These substances are harmful to the teeth because they contain acid-producing bacteria that can damage them. It can only be removed by a dentist or hygienist, so it is important to maintain regular dental appointments.
In addition to cleanings, exams are necessary for good oral hygiene because they are opportunities for your dentist to detect potential problems. Unlike conditions in other parts of the body, oral diseases generally do not present symptoms until they have reached a more advanced stage, at which point they will be more difficult – and expensive – to treat. Catching them early through dental exams allows for early treatment, raising the chances for success.