Most people are intimately familiar with the tenets of basic oral hygiene—brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss at least once (preferably before bedtime), and visit your dentist every six months for a regular dental checkup and cleaning. Most people also know that skipping the toothbrush and floss isn’t a good thing, though many do it anyway from time to time. Yet, what if your smile got a clean bill of health at your last visit, and you’ve diligently brushed and flossed, sometimes more than twice a day? If your teeth are spotless and don’t hurt in the least, isn’t okay to skip the dental visit once in a while? The answer is no, and your Austin dentist, Dr. Van Wicklen, explains why.
Isn’t Brushing and Flossing Enough?
The purpose of brushing and flossing every day is control the buildup of dental plaque—the sticky, colorless stuff that sometimes sticks to your teeth, especially along your gum line. Plaque is more than just uncomfortable; it’s dangerous. At least, the over-600 different kinds of oral bacteria that form it are. In plaque’s defense, not all of those germs are harmful. Some of them are actually critical to the ecological balance in your mouth. Those that are malicious, though, don’t need a lot of time to wreak havoc with your oral health, especially since your teeth can’t repair themselves once they’ve been damaged or infected. Brushing and flossing is necessary to prevent this damage, but by itself, the routine is inadequate. Missing a spot of plaque is bound to happen now and then, and after about 48 hours, plaque hardens into tartar (calcified plaque) and becomes impervious to your toothbrush and floss.
Time Doesn’t Heal All Wounds
With a more secure hold on your teeth and gums, the oral bacteria within plaque have more opportunity to inflame your gum tissue, produce acids that erode your tooth enamel, or release foul-smelling sulfur compounds that can severely taint your breath. At your dental checkup and cleaning, Dr. Van Wicklen will ensure that your mouth is thoroughly cleaned of plaque and tartar, as well as check for early signs of dental disease. Detecting issues early significantly increases your chances of avoiding extensive damage and dental treatment.
Visit Your Austin Dentist for a Checkup & Cleaning
To learn more about professionally maintaining a healthy smile, or to attend a dental checkup and cleaning, speak with your Austin family dentist as soon as possible. You can schedule an appointment with Dr. Van Wicklen by calling 512-448-3131. Located in the 78704 area, we proudly serve the cities of Austin, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Bastrop, Bee Cave, Cedar Park, and all surrounding communities.