Unlike your GP, where you are only really need to visit when you are ill or concerned about your health, it is necessary to visit the dentists every six-months for a check up as routine procedure. This is because our teeth are constantly being attacked by plaque and bacteria in the mouth from food, which will ultimately cause damage to the teeth unless your teeth are clean and regularly checked by a dentist.
The key to keeping your teeth clean starts at home with effective dental hygiene. This will mostly be in the form of brushing and flossing, but may also involve using a tongue scraper and mouthwash, if recommended by your dentist. Brushing is vital to your dental health as it removes plaque from the surface of the teeth. If plaque is allowed to remain, it will release acids, which erode tooth enamel. This exposes the teeth to infection and ultimately tooth loss. Brushing is also very effective against gum disease, if you are brushing correctly and with an appropriate brush. Flossing removes plaque and bacteria from between the teeth, areas that are hard to reach with conventional brushing.
However, even the most rigorous home hygiene routine can not always prevent the onset of tooth and gum disease. Everyone’s teeth are different and some are more prone to enamel erosion and infection than others. It is also very hard to tell if you are reaching all the necessary areas of your mouth when you are cleaning solely at home. Your dentist will be able to highlight any problem areas and treat any signs of decay or disease that may already be occurring. They are also able to check for the signs of other unpleasant conditions such as oral cancer.
Having a check up every six months will significantly reduce your chances of having problems with your teeth.