If your teeth and gums are healthy, your dentist will still usually recommend that you receive routine dental care twice a year. Thus, every six months, you should receive a dental examination and cleaning. Here are a few reasons not to miss your appointments.

Tartar Removal

As your dentist cleans your teeth, they scrape away tartar that has accumulated since your last visit. The tartar buildup occurs whenever plaque is left in place for a lengthy period. The plaque, which has a soft consistency, calcifies over time and transforms into tartar.

Since plaque is soft and sticky, it is removed as you brush and floss your teeth. However, tartar is too hard to be swept away by toothbrush bristles or string floss. The substance must be scraped away with specialized dental tools, such as a scaler.

Tartar is problematic because it harbors a large number of bacteria, which release acid that causes decay and gum inflammation. If you miss your routine dental appointments, the tartar can build up. This, in turn, increases your likelihood of gum disease and dental decay. The yellow color of tartar can also discolor your teeth.

Cancer Screening

As your dentist examines your oral cavity during a routine dental visit, they look for signs of abnormalities. Although they search for indications of tooth decay, they also carefully examine the soft tissues of the mouth for discoloration, growths, and unusual discharge that are indicative of cancer.

If the dentist does believe that cancer is present, they may excise a bit of tissue and send it to a lab for review. If the test results are positive for cancer, your dentist will likely refer you to a physician for treatment.

By attending routine dental visits at least twice annually, you can increase your chance of discovering any oral cancer early. The earlier cancer is found, the more likely that it can be successfully treated. 

Fresher Breath

As your dentist clears away the tartar from your teeth, they are also ridding your mouth of bacteria that cause bad breath. Some oral bacteria release odor-causing gases called volatile sulfur compounds, which can cause halitosis. When fewer bacteria are in the mouth, the breath tends to be fresher.

Additionally, the cleaning can remove edible debris that may have become trapped in hard-to-reach places. As the old particles of food begin to rot, they emit a foul odor. Clearing away these bits of food also improves the smell of the breath.

For more reasons to visit your dentist for routine care, schedule a consultation with a dental office, such as Sun Dental.