There’s a reason that you’ll be asked to make an appointment for six months or so down the road before you leave your dentists office. While it’s not the appointment everyone likes the most, it’s an important one. You might think it’s not a big deal to skip the dentist, especially if you’re busy or cost is a factor for you, but the truth is, you’ll be saving yourself a lot of time, money and possible discomfort by keeping regular with your dentist. So, if you’re not sure why you need to see your dentist regularly, keep reading and we’ll clue you in.
Reduced risk of plaque, tartar and cavities
It really doesn’t matter if you’re the most diligent tooth brusher and flosser under the sun. There’s so many small areas and pockets that you just wont reach where plaque will begin to build up. This plaque build-up needs to be removed before it solidifies and turns into tartar. That’s because tartar is damaging to your tooth enamel and can be difficult to remove even with professional cleanings. Seeing your dentist regularly for dental cleanings will help prevent plaque turning to tartar and destroying your tooth enamel and causing cavities. Once you feel the toothache caused by a cavity, it’s already to late and you’ll most likely need a filling to repair the affected tooth. You could have just had a routine cleaning, but now you have the additional appointment time and cost of having a cavity filled. Don’t put off your cleaning appointments because they can help save you both time and money in your wallet.
Detecting oral cancer
Oral cancer is serious and needs to be caught early. If oral cancer goes undiagnosed, it can quickly become life threatening instead of an easily treatable condition. That’s the second reason you need to keep up with your dental check-ups because your dentist or hygienist is specifically trained to recognize the signs of oral cancer. Regular check-ups (every six months or so) means your chances of catching anything untoward during an early stage are much higher and often result in successful treatments. An oral cancer exam is pain-free and won’t take long. It’s usually included in a routine dental cleaning appointment and could end up saving your life.
It’s not just your teeth that are at risk if you skip your dental check up appointments. Your gums can get hit as well, and it’s often worse when they do. The same plaque and tartar build-up that can lead to cavities in your teeth can also erode the gum tissue. Untreated gum disease will quickly turn into gingivitis or worse, periodontal disease and can cause gum recession which will lead to tooth loss. If your gums are swollen, red, bleeding or painful then you probably already have some degree of gum disease. The good news is that gum disease can be treated but as with most conditions, earlier is better. Again, dental check-ups will ensure that your teeth are clean, your gums are healthy and that you don’t waste time and money treating conditions that were easily prevented.
Avoiding bad habits
We all know that daily life comes with its own set of bad habits that are easy to slip into. Things like smoking, biting your nails, clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth, drinking wine and coffee, eating sweet foods and even improper brushing can let your teeth deteriorate faster than they should. A dental check-up will allow your dentist to evaluate the condition of your entire mouth and make suggestions for what you need to avoid to keep things healthy. Your dentist will also be able to identify and fix any issues before they turn into something more serious.
Head, neck and lymph node check-ups
Your dentist wont only spend his or her time inside your mouth. They will check your neck, jaw and lymph nodes for any signs or problems. Swelling, lumps or other abnormalities could be an indicator of a more serious underlying condition that could put your health at risk. Your dentist will alert you to any potential problems and ask you to visit your doctor.
Find hidden problems with x-rays
An important aspect of modern dentistry is to find problems under the surface that aren’t visible to inspection with the naked eye. This means x-rays, so that your dentist can see exactly what’s going on inside your mouth and jaw. Issues like impacted teeth, jawbone deterioration or damage as well as cysts or tumors can be identified by x-rays. Your dentist may not choose to use x-rays at every appointment, but they are a vital tool to keeping your mouth healthy and can only be performed correctly at your dentist’s office.
Should you visit the dentist regularly?
Unless you weren’t reading actually reading, it should be obvious that visiting the dentist regularly is absolutely necessary. You need your teeth professionally cleaned, no matter what, and you should be getting checked out on a regular basis to make sure your mouth is in good condition. While skipping appointments might not seem like a big deal, it actually is and could cost you more money, time and possibly your health if you neglect them. If you live in Ontario, you should do yourself a favour and stay up-to-date with your dental appointments at Martindale Dental for the best oral health that can last a lifetime.