Why You Shouldn’t Skip Your Bi-Annual Dental Cleaning and Checkup

You get your oil changed every 3,000 miles to keep your car running smoothly, and the same concept applies to your teeth. A bi-annual check under your “hood” can detect problems early and help you avoid big problems later.

Preventive maintenance is always inconvenient. But whether we’re talking about your car, your house, or your body, you know the old saying is true: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The same goes for your teeth. 

If you’re skipping your twice yearly checkups and cleanings, you could be setting yourself up for some problems down the road that you could’ve avoided.

At Image Dental in Stockton, California, we offer comprehensive general and cosmetic dentistry services that can repair or restore virtually any dental issue, but we’d much rather help you sidestep these problems altogether.

The best way to do that is to make bi-annual appointments for a checkup and professional cleaning — and keep those appointments.

Finding oral problems you can’t see

Many oral health issues crop up without any visual symptoms, so you may not even know you have a problem. In fact, you may have no dental complaints whatsoever, but still have a problem lurking under the surface.

The best time to find and treat these problems is when they’re tiny and almost imperceptible. For example, a tiny cavity is easy to fill without much effort or pain. But if you let a cavity go for a year or two, it invades the inner part of your tooth and eventually requires a root canal. 

We take a set of dental X-rays to assess your teeth and gums and identify potential bone decay or root deterioration. We also use a special tool to measure the pocket of space between your gums and teeth, which can indicate periodontal disease.

Finally, our examination lets us know if you need orthodontic care to straighten your teeth. If so, we offer the revolutionary Invisalign® system to correct your bite quickly and discreetly. 

Deep clean your teeth

Brushing twice daily and flossing at least once a day is a great foundation for oral health, but that alone can’t clear away stubborn plaque and tartar, especially in hard-to-reach areas. Our expert hygienists use professional tools that scrape off the hardened substances that can invade your teeth and gums if given the chance.

We also clean your teeth with a special electric toothbrush and dental-grade toothpaste for a thorough dental cleaning that you just can do at home for yourself. 

We follow your cleaning with a professional flossing to clean the spaces between your teeth and allow us to examine your gums for signs of bleeding. 

Finally, we treat your teeth to a professional fluoride treatment to provide a shield of protection between your bi-annual visits. 

Check your overall health

Your bi-annual check ups aren’t just for your teeth. Your oral health also involves your tongue, lips, cheek, palate, gums, throat, the bottom of your mouth, and your head and neck.

By examining these areas twice a year, we can often detect early signs of oral cancer, such as sores or red or white patches, that you may not notice. The good news is that in its early stages,  oral cancer treatments have high success rates.

Surprisingly, your bi-annual dental cleanings and checkups can also reveal signs of other diseases like cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and thyroid disease. Research shows that over 90% of all systemic diseases have oral symptoms that include dry mouth, bad breath, mouth ulcers, and swollen gums, which can be recognized during regular dental exams. 

So, treat your mouth like you treat your car and your house — keep up the preventive maintenance appointments and avoid facing major problems down the road. 

To schedule your bi-annual dental checkup and cleaning, call us at 209-392-5688 today. 

Stephen Nozaki, DDS, MPH, DIDIA

Dr. Stephen Nozaki is the owner and lead dentist at Image Dental in Stockton. He is a dedicated professional born and raised in California's Central Valley. With a commitment to his community, he brings advanced dental techniques learned from extensive education and continuous training from around the world. A third-generation Japanese American, Dr. Nozaki has a rich background that includes international living and a deep passion for both dentistry and outdoor activities. His focus in dentistry aligns with his passion for cosmetics and dental implants.