Are Dental Check-Ups Really That Important?

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Most people have probably wondered at some point whether their six-month dental check-ups are really necessary. Although it may feel like it at times, six months is not an arbitrary period of time, those pesky dental check-ups are a key component of maintaining a great-looking smile and good dental and overall health. 

Making and keeping regular dental appointments is essential to keeping your gums and teeth healthy, but there are additional benefits as well. When your dental professional examines your mouth, he or she will be able to find and identify any possible problems before they evolve into major dental issues.

Your dentist can even identify underlying non-dental health issues from a routine dental exam. There are many chronic health problems that are associated with bad oral health.

Different Kinds of Dental Check-Ups

Are Dental Check-Ups Really That Important?

Many different things take place during a routine six-month check-up. You might think that certain check-ups are more important than others, but each kind of check-up gives your dental professional a different way to assess the health of both your teeth and your gums. Each type of dental exam is important to your health in its own way. 

General Dental Check-Up

Every regular dental exam will include a check-up. A check-up is when your dentist carefully inspects your gums, your teeth, and also conducts an exam of your face, throat, neck, and head. This type of basic check-up should also include a complete teeth cleaning. 

Gum Health

Equally important is a full inspection of your gums. Your gums need to be fully examined in order to measure the size of the space between each of your teeth. If the spaces between your gums and teeth are too big, it could be an indicator of gum disease. In addition, other issues, such as mouth ulcers, could be found along your gum line.

Dental X-Rays

X-rays are yet another component of a thorough dental exam. This is due to the fact that they make it possible for your dentist to inspect the areas between your teeth for indications of cavities. Not all cavities are visible on the tops or fronts of your teeth. A lot of cavities develop in between your teeth, where it is hard to reach by simply brushing or flossing. 

Tarter and Plaque

Plaque build-up occurs in most people, particularly in areas that are hard to reach inside your mouth. Tartar is what grows when plaque is allowed to sit and harden on the surface of your teeth. Tartar cannot be eliminated with basic brushing and/or flossing. Your dental professional will be able to spot the growth of any plaque and tartar and will have the tools to remove it from those hard-to-reach areas. 


Scaling is the part of the tooth cleaning during which tartar and plaque are physically removed. With the use of dental tools designed especially for this purpose, your hygienist will be able to eliminate any tartar and plaque growth from your teeth without causing any damage to them. 

Tooth Polishing

It may sound extra, but polishing your teeth will leave them feeling and looking as shiny and clean as possible. A tooth polishing will also diminish any surface stains and leave your mouth feeling refreshed in a way that traditional brushing simply can’t do.

At McBride Dental, we want to help you and your family do everything possible to have and preserve healthy teeth and gums. By scheduling regular appointments with your California family dentist and practicing the oral care techniques we teach you, your whole family will easily maintain teeth that are healthy, strong, and effective.

The San Marcos offices of Dr. Michael McBride are staffed with reputable, professional San Diego dentists that are ready to address any concerns you may have regarding common dental procedures, as well as preventative, cosmetic, or restorative dentistry. We also provide sedation dentistry treatments as an option for our patients with severe dental anxiety.

It is our job to help you and your family establish healthy dental habits to make sure that your teeth will always be there when you need them and your smile will always look great.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a San Marcos dentist, please give us a call at (760) 471-1003 and speak with a trained member of our dental staff today.


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