While the twice-a-year recommendation to visit your dentist for a checkup may not be an appointment you necessarily look forward to, it is an essential one to keep if you want to maintain a healthy and happy smile.
Regular dental visits and cleanings are important for preventing the onset of problems, for detecting any developing issues that you may be unaware of, and for creating treatment plans if serious issues are found.
If you have an appointment coming up and are thinking about skipping it, here are 9 reasons why you may want to reconsider.
1. Prevent Tooth Decay & Tooth Loss
If plaque is allowed to build up around your teeth and under your gum line, you are going to end up with inflammation, dental cavities, and bad breath which all contribute to tooth decay. As plaque sticks to your teeth, it will create hard to remove tartar, discolor your teeth, and it will eat away at your outer protecting coating - your enamel.
Regular dental checkups look for tooth decay and will provide you with the necessary treatments and measures to prevent it from becoming worse.
In skipping out on regular dental visits, untreated plaque build-up combined with poor brushing and flossing habits can create an oral environment filled with excess bacteria, infections, and cavities. If left untreated, this can lead to all-out tooth loss. However, plaque formation can be removed with regular dental visits.
2. Say No to Gum Disease
Poor dental hygiene can lead to gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease that causes swelling, redness, and irritation around your gum line. If you have swollen, puffy gums that are dark red or bleed easily, you may be suffering from gingivitis.
If left untreated, it can advance to periodontitis, which can lead to tooth and bone loss.
You will be checked for gum disease and if found, the infection will be treated, and you’ll be given the next treatment steps.
3. Prevent Root Canals & Nerve Damage
With regular dental visits, tooth decay or cavities can be addressed early on so that you do not have to go through a root canal procedure. You may be given sealant to protect your teeth from future tooth decay or tips on how to maintain a tooth-friendly diet.
4. Early Detection of Invisible Issues via X-rays
In visiting a dentist every six months, your teeth and jaw bone will be x-rayed so that your dentist can see what is going on under the surface.
This is incredibly important, as x-rays can help dentists identify issues that are invisible to the naked eye like impacted teeth, bone loss, cysts, and tumors.
By finding these oral issues as early on as possible, the right treatment plan can be put together to ensure no further destruction is done.
5. Help You Keep Negative Lifestyle Choices in Check
We all have bad habits that we would rather not talk about, or perhaps not even realize are bad for our teeth.
Things like drinking too much coffee, biting your nails, or brushing your teeth too hard, can cause damage to your teeth and gums.
Regular visits to the dentist can help mitigate some of this damage, prevent future damage, and allow you to alter your habits for a healthier smile.
6. Receive Dental Advice for a Healthier Smile
Having an ongoing conversation with your dentist about dental hygiene and oral health can ensure that you are using the best practices for maintaining a healthy smile.
It gives you a chance to ask for advice about the intricacies of proper oral hygiene, so that you can make the best choices for your teeth.
7. You Get Time to Decide the Right Course of Treatment
The main advantage of regular dental visits is early detection of problems. If you are found to have dental or gum issues, you will have more time to consider all of the treatment options. If a problem is found late, it becomes an urgent matter and your options may become narrower.
8. You Are Screened for Oral Cancer
As with all cancer, oral cancer can be fatal if it goes undiagnosed. Unfortunately, if it goes unnoticed, it can quickly progress into its late stages. Luckily, the early stages of oral cancer are easily treatable, and the detection of oral cancer is non-invasive and pain-free.
Not only is your dentist highly trained to recognize the symptoms of oral cancer, but with regular dental visits, the likelihood of it being caught early enough, skyrockets.
9. Your Head, Neck, & Lymph Nodes Are Checked
In addition to oral cancer screening, your dentist can also check your head, neck, and lymph nodes for swelling, hardness, or abnormalities. In a lot of cases, swollen lymph nodes can go unnoticed because they don’t often present with pain. In checking these, your dentist can alert you to any presenting issues that may be indicative of a major health concern.
Early detection is key here for ensuring successful treatment.
Wrapping It Up
In keeping your appointments for regular dental visits every six months, you can combat the negative impact that plaque, tartar, and cavities have on your teeth and avoid major problems like gum disease and tooth loss.
Beyond this, invisible problems that lie under the surface of your gum line can be found early on and successfully treated before they become an urgent matter. In the end, your teeth will be healthier and happier, and you’ll save money in avoiding costly late-stage treatments.
If you’d like to come for a dental visit and/or have any questions, feel free to get in touch today.