People like to avoid the dentist. For many, they have a bad reputation – they might not like the clinical environment, or pointy things being in their mouth. Others simply don’t think they have the time, or they might not want to fit it into their budget.
But attending a regular six-monthly or yearly checkup can mean the difference between seeing the dentist once or twice a year, or needing weeks and months of intense, costly restorative treatment some time in the future.
Here are the top 10 reasons to visit the dentist regularly.
Clean Off Plaque and Tartar
No matter how diligent you are with brushing and flossing, plaque and tartar can and will still start to build up around your teeth. The safest, easiest way to remove this is to get your dentist to clean it off during a regular check.
While many might consider this more of a cosmetic problem, plaque and tartar can lead to serious complications. They’re breeding grounds for bacteria that can start to seriously affect not just your oral health, but your overall health as well.
Prevent Gum Disease and Periodontal Disease
Brushing and flossing daily are the best ways to prevent oral infections. Unfortunately, plaque and tartar, if left on the teeth too long, will start to cause gum disease and periodontal disease. By having the plaque and tartar removed, you greatly reduce the risk of getting these illnesses.
Gum disease is on of the most common illnesses in the world. In America alone, almost 50% of adult population – and 70% of the population over the age of 65 – have gum disease. Gum disease is hard to notice at first, as the obvious signs (swelling and bleeding) only appears after the infection has taken hold.
Periodontal disease affects the tooth and bone, and can result in teeth falling out or needing extraction.
See Hidden Problems With X Rays
Not every problem results in pain, and serious conditions can remain unnoticed until it’s too late. An impacted wisdom tooth, for example, might only be visible with an X-Ray. Or you might need a root canal without even realizing it.
Being able to look under the surface at the inner-workings of your mouth can be an invaluable tool for you and your dentist.
Detect – and Treat – Problem Early
The sooner you detect a problem, the easier it is to treat. Gum disease is easier to deal with that periodontal disease; a filling is better than a root canal, and a root canal is better than extracting a tooth.
By seeing your dentist often, you’ll be able to give them the chance to monitor your oral health and detect changes early. With early intervention, time, cost, and and recovery are all greatly reduced – allowing you to have a happy, healthy smile for longer.
Keep On Top of Recovery After Treatment
Some treatments require a considerable amount of after-care to heal properly. Seeing your dentist regularly with both motivate you to keep up with your after care plan, as well as let them monitor your progress.
Conditions like gum disease and periodontal disease are more likely to occur in people who’ve had the diseases before. These patients often need even more regular checkups – 3-6 months, rather than 6-12 – to prevent reoccurrence of the diseases.
Lower the Chances of Cardiovascular Problems and Other Health Conditions
One of the most startling finds over the last few decades was the link between gum disease and cardiovascular disease. For many years, the mouth was always treated as a separate system to the rest of the body. Today, we understand that the health of your mouth can have drastic consequences to the health of your body.
People with gum disease are two to three times more likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke, or other serious cardiovascular event. Preventing or treating gum disease helps keep these numbers down, and your overall health in check.
Set a Good Example for Children
One of the reasons people often dislike the dentist is having a poor experience as a child. This might be an experience the child has had, or it might be because a child has grown up with parents who are anxious themselves.
If you have children, attending your regular checkups with a brave face – and taking your children along with you – can do wonders to set them up for a lifetime of healthy, positive association with visiting the dentist.
Keep Your Smile Bright and Healthy
Teeth whitening is one of the most popular dental treatments. While teeth are naturally not supposed to be perfectly white, a lot of food, drink, and personal habits can stain the teeth much more than normal.
Your regular checkup and clean will help keep your teeth brighter and healthier for longer without needing whitening. If you do get teeth whitening, your regular checks and cleans will keep the effects going for longer before you need a top-up.
Use Insurance Benefits
If you’ve got dental coverage on your health insurance, you should know that your benefits don’t “roll over” from one year to the next. Once your coverage period has expired, you lose any benefits you didn’t use. If you’ve got dental benefits, using them for your regular checks and cleans is a great way to get what you paid for, and look after your mouth at the same time.
Oral Cancer Checks
Today a regular check and clean at the dentist usually involves an oral cancer check. The tongue, lips, gums, and cheeks will all be inspected for any signs of cancers.
Oral cancer is treatable, but like any cancer can cause several damage if left unchecked. Early intervention can be the difference between cutting out a small area of infected gum, vs. major surgery and possibly even radiation therapy to combat the disease.