If you’re the type of person that regularly skips dental appointments…I am going to try and convince you that this is not a good idea! It’s imperative that you visit your dentist every six months and get a thorough check-up done to prevent problems from occurring. Your dentist will likely recommend the right treatment for you based on the condition of your teeth and mouth, not to mention you will feel better.
In this article, we’ll talk about the top 6 reasons why regular dental check-ups are so important…
- Detection and removal of plaque, tartar, and cavities: However diligent a brusher and flosser you may be, it is unlikely that you can get to all of those hard-to-reach areas of your mouth and teeth. When plaque builds up, it becomes really difficult to remove, and it solidifies, turning into tartar, which is really difficult to remove without professional help. Also, regular dental cleanings can remove tartar, thereby preventing it from creating holes in your teeth, which is the source of many cavities. So, to prevent cavities from occurring, visit your dentist for regular cleanings, which can prevent more serious problems later.
- Detection and prevention of gum disease: The build-up of plaque and tartar can also cause gum disease. It can erode the mouth’s gum tissue. This takes place when tartar causes an infection where the gum is connected to the tooth. This makes the gum pull away from the tooth, and is called gingivitis. Gingivitis progresses rapidly, when the tissue that attaches the gum to the teeth breaks down. This results in gum disease, with swelling, bleeding, and soreness in the mouth. Gum disease also results in a breakdown of the bone that holds the teeth in place. To avoid all this, regular dental cleanings are very important.
- Checking for and treating the results of bad habits: You may drink sugary beverages, smoke, brush your teeth too hard, bite your nails, or clench your jaw. All of this may result in oral damage. Your dentist can help guide you on any ill effects of these habits. You may consider making lifestyle changes necessary to prevent further damage. Regular dental visits can also help you treat the damage that has already occurred. Also, due to these habits, you may suffer from halitosis (bad breath), which your dentist can help treat by treating the underlying problem.
- Detection of underlying problems with X-rays: When you visit your dentist every six months, you should get your teeth X-rayed and the surrounding bone evaluated. This can help detect underlying problems that are not visible above the surface of your gumline. This can reveal problems, such as tooth decay, gum disease, as well as, bone anomalies, cysts, or tumors.
- Detection of any abnormality in your head, neck, and lymph nodes: If you visit your dentist for a regular check-up, your dentist will also check your neck, jaw, and lymph nodes located just below your jawline for any swelling, lumps, and other abnormalities. If your dentist detects any abnormalities, you can then be referred to the appropriate medical professional for further diagnosis and treatment.
- Detection of oral cancer: This may sound like something only other people have, but be warned, about 50,000 people will be diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer in the U.S. this year. The 5-year survival rate is only 57%, meaning early detection is crucial. Your dentist will screen for oral cancer at your regular check-up.
While there are other reasons why you should visit your dentist for a regular dental check-up every six months, these are the most important. At the Tacoma Dental Group, we offer our patients several different dental services, including preventive dental care, dental fillings, dental digital X-ray, and more. You should also ensure that you visit your dentist regularly, so that any underlying problem can be detected early. After all, prevention is better than cure!