No matter your age, dental checkups should be a routine part of making sure your dental and general health are both intact.
Scheduling your hygiene appointments twice yearly is as easy as can be, and pays off in a variety of ways. Here are seven perks of visiting your dentist regularly!
Cavity and Decay Protection
One of the main reasons people are encouraged to visit the dentist regularly is to avoid cavities. In this case, taking preventative measures to avoid excess decay on the teeth is easier than dealing with the aftermath.
Without proper and frequent cleanings, it’s easier for plaque to build up on your teeth over long periods of time, which begins to eat away the enamel. Enamel is a protective outer layer on the teeth, and once it has been destroyed it cannot be fully restored naturally.
Brushing regularly can drastically decrease your chances of developing cavities, but professional cleanings can reach areas you’re unable to, and perform in ways the standard toothbrush and floss can’t.
The best way to prevent buildup is to have your dental professional do a thorough cleaning, and an exam to ensure your oral health is in top shape!
Helping to Remove Stains and Whiten Discoloured Teeth
Between cleanings, everyone experiences some degree of yellow staining on the surface of the teeth. Very common things such as regularly drinking tea, coffee, red wine, or smoking can all easily cause this discolouring.
Brushing does help to some degree, and using an approved whitening toothpaste will help even more, but it will never completely eradicate the staining.
During your cleaning your dentist will also polish your teeth, and help you work towards a whiter smile! No one likes stains, and a cleaning and polishing twice a year will help to ensure you can keep drinking your coffee, tea, or wine without worry!
Helping You Steer Clear of Gum Disease
Earlier we discussed the buildup of plaque that can occur if one isn’t careful enough about their cleaning schedule. This buildup not only increases the risk of developing cavities, but can be a key factor in contracting gum disease.
Gum disease typically occurs when this plaque builds up below the gum line. At its worst, it has the potential to result in tooth loss. There are many signs and symptoms of gum disease that may not be obvious to you, but will be to your specialist. Frequent trips to the dentist will allow them to monitor your gums and make sure they’re healthy!
Maintaining good oral hygiene is key for avoiding conditions such as halitosis. This frankly embarrassing condition can cause a strong odor that has a few causes, such as:
Dry Mouth/Lack of Saliva
Sometimes due to lack of water, caffeine consumption, certain medications, smoking, or alcohol consumption, your mouth fails to produce the necessary amount of saliva.
Saliva is important because it helps to break down food, helps to naturally rinse your mouth, and actually can help prevent certain infections and the development of cavities.
Having one or both of these things can contribute to bad breath or halitosis as well. Gum disease in particular can reside below the gum line, which can produce a foul odor that sometimes can’t be nipped in the bud with good oral hygiene alone.
We all know smoking isn’t the best for your oral health, nor the smell of your breath. Cigarettes leave their own specific odor, and dry your mouth out in the process of doing so.
If you’re a frequent smoker and don’t visit the dentist for cleanings as often as you should, there’s a good chance you could develop halitosis. Make sure you talk to your dental specialist about what you can do to help prevent this condition from becoming present, or worsening if you’re already experiencing symptoms.
Without a dental background, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to recognize the early symptoms of oral cancer as they arise.
Your dental specialist will be trained and well equipped to diagnose any symptoms you have, and will keep an eye open for them during your routine exam.
Early detection is key for treatment. If you’re noticing any abnormal pain, sores, or trouble swallowing, make sure you mention these symptoms to your dentist before the exam is performed. They may be unrelated, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
Finding Problems that Can’t Be Seen With the Naked Eye
Part of your oral exam will always include having your teeth and jaw bone X-rayed, usually from several angles. These images will give your specialist insight into what’s going on below the surface, if anything, and can help to find and diagnose current or potential issues.
The structure of your jaw in relation to your teeth can be very telling. From here your specialist will be able to see anything abnormal, including impacted teeth, which could be a helpful indicator that it’s time to have your wisdom teeth removed. This is just one of the many things that an X-ray can help with, and it’s always best to be thorough!
Examining Problems Outside of the Mouth
Dentists know the signs of potential issues that lie in the structure of your face and mouth, not just inside the mouth itself.
During your time spent in the chair, your dentist will perform the oral exam, and then move on to other regions of the face and neck. Your dentist will search the jawline for any irregularities, or anything out of the ordinary that could be cause for alarm.
Your specialist will be looking for irregularities specifically related to your thyroid and glands. Needless to say, a dental check-up doesn’t just benefit your teeth and gums, but your health overall!
Not only will you get a clean bill of health after your frequent examinations are finished and no issues are found, but you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that you’re on the right track. Putting off your dental visits can feel easier than having to make the time, but could end up impacting your health in the long run.