Has it been a while since you've paid a visit to your Mystic, CT, family dentist, Dr. James Watts? Regular visits offer these important benefits for your oral health:

Fewer cavities

As part of your checkup at the Mystic dental office, you'll receive a dental cleaning. Cleanings remove plaque, a sticky, clear film that contains bacteria. Every time you eat a food that contains sugar or carbohydrates, a complex chemical interaction creates acids. The acids are so strong that they can eat through your tooth enamel, causing cavities.

Cleanings not only get rid of plaque but also remove tartar. The hard substance develops when plaque lingers on your teeth for 10 days or longer and can't be removed by brushing and flossing.

Reduced risk of gum disease

It's easy to overlook the early signs of gum disease. In fact, many people believe that it's perfectly normal for gums to be tender or bleed when brushing or flossing. As part of your checkup, your dentist will look for signs of gum disease and recommend treatments if you have the disease. If the disease is still in the early stages, you may only need a dental cleaning and a better oral hygiene routine. Treating gum disease helps you avoid the loss of gum tissue, bone, and teeth.

Prompt treatment of dental issues

It's impossible to treat dental issues if you don't know you have them. During your checkup, your dentist can spot problems when they're still minor. Treating these issues will protect your smile and help you avoid costly, extensive dental work in the future.

In addition to cavities, your dentist will check the condition of your teeth and look for cracks and other damage. He'll also make sure that crowns, bridges, dental implants, and other restorations are still in good condition. Family dentists evaluate the growth and development of your child's jaw and teeth and will make treatment recommendations if there are any issues.

Oral cancer screenings

Oral cancer affects approximately 53,000 Americans every year, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation. Symptoms can be subtle and may not seem alarming. In fact, small bumps, sores that don't heal, and white or red patches can be signs of cancer. Although everyone needs regular oral cancer screenings, they're particularly important if you use tobacco products.

Protect your oral health with regular dental appointments! Call your family dentist in Mystic, CT, Dr. James Watts, at (860) 536-6446 to schedule your visit.