Let’s face it – few of us delight in going to the dentist. You never know what they may find and if they do find something, it’s usually not good. Dental appointments may be last on our list of things to do but we need to think of it differently. Taking good care of your teeth and gums is an investment in your health you will need and use for the rest of your life. Want to be able to eat properly and show off a beautiful smile? Want to avoid unnecessary mouth or gum pain or bad breath? Keep those dental appointments – they come in handy for preventing or treating conditions that can cause many issues with a part of our body we depend on daily.
When we fail to make oral hygiene a daily priority, we will eventually have to go to a dentist and it won’t be for just a checkup. Poor oral hygiene can lead to a variety of dental and medical problems such as gum disease, infection, bone loss, heart disease, strokes, and more. Regular checkups and cleanings can prevent these problems as well as provide you with good oral care.
Here are eight reasons why regular dental visits throughout your entire life can keep you smiling from ear to ear:
1. Having a dental hygienist deep clean the teeth
The majority of a visit to the dentist is often spent with a dental hygienist. Dental hygienists are an invaluable part of the dental team as their job is to deep clean the teeth as they examine patients for signs of oral diseases such as gingivitis. They also provide preventative dental care helping educate patients on ways to improve and maintain good oral health.
2. To get an oral cancer screening
A trip to the dentist will also involve the dentist and hygienist screening the mouth for any signs of oral cancer. Orals cancers can occur in the mouth, lips or throat and can be highly curable if diagnosed and treated in the early stages. Visiting a dentist regularly and avoiding chewing tobacco are key factors in preventing oral cancers.
3. To identify gum disease
One of the main causes of tooth loss in adults is gum disease. Gum disease has also been linked to heart disease and strokes. The early stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis which can be treated and reversed. If not treated, then it can advance to periodontitis which can include bone loss. Getting regular dental check-ups and reminders of brushing and flossing twice a day are ways to prevent against gum disease.
4. To prevent major oral issues in the future
Making dental visits a priority can prevent future dental problems that will come up. If we are going to maintain good oral health, regular checkups and cleanings are one of the most important things we can do. Seeing a dentist can prevent cavities, root canals, gum disease, oral cancer and other dental conditions. An ounce of prevention is worth much more than trying to fix a major and expensive dental problem.
5. To diagnose bad breath
Occasional bad breath is often due to food choices or not having recently brushed the teeth. But when bad breath is persistent, there could be a dental problem causing it. Discuss the issue of bad breath with the dentist who can advise you on how to get it under control.
6. To achieve a white and bright smile
If your teeth are showing the signs of your lifestyle of staining from drinking coffee, tea or tobacco, the dentist can make suggestions on how to get your pearly whites back. Regular cleanings with a dental hygienist who will polish your teeth to a magnificent shine making you want to smile again. Or, if necessary, they can suggest or recommend professional whitening methods that will bring back your teeth’s brilliance.
7. To keep the teeth you already have
As a child, losing a tooth was exciting as that meant the tooth fairy was going to pay a visit. But as an adult, tooth loss is not a pretty sight. The American College of Prosthodontists reports that 178 million people in the United States are missing at least one tooth. By having regular preventative care appointments and practicing proper dental hygiene, this can help reduce your risk for tooth loss.
8. As a reminder to change your toothbrush often
One of the nice things about having regular dental visits is what they give you at the end of the visit – a new toothbrush. How many of us remember to change our toothbrush every 3 months? Manual toothbrushes become worn out after about 3 months and will not be as effective as they once were. Anyone with gum disease should change their toothbrush more frequently or every 4-6 weeks since bacteria can harbor in the bristles. Make sure to rinse your toothbrush with hot water after every use and to change it if you’ve been sick.