You have heard it time and again that you should visit a dentist every six months. But you have always wondered why and if it’s actually needed. After all, you might not feel there is any problem with your teeth or gums.
Everything seems in good shape so why should you spend time and money for your dentist to pick, buff, scrape, or pull your teeth? Of course, a dental visit isn’t very enjoyable – nobody likes a stranger to mess around with their mouth. But that doesn’t mean you should skip your appointments.
What To Expect During A Regular Visit
A regular visit to the dentist includes
Each appointment lasts about 45 minutes and includes a detailed examination of the mouth as well as thorough cleaning using tools you can’t use at home.
Here is why you should definitely visit your dentist as scheduled and never miss an appointment.
Your Mouth Is Your Major Life Support System
It’s through the mouth that you breathe, eat and communicate. Hence, you would definitely want to keep your mouth in good shape. This is one good reason why you should visit a dentist twice a year as recommended.
Oral Health Is Often Linked To Your General Wellbeing
Paying a visit to your dentist is not only good for your oral health. Many studies over the last few years have shown clear relation between oral health and other medical conditions. For example, some studies have shown links between gum disease and cardiovascular diseases. It’s known that the junk on the teeth produces billions of bacteria, which, if left unchecked, can end up being carried through the blood and lodged in the heart, clogging the blood vessels.
Hence, visiting the dentist regularly is not only important for maintaining your dental hygiene but also for your general well being.
Regular Cleaning Can Prevent Many Diseases And Problems
The body naturally builds up plaque and tartar and if it’s not removed, it embeds under the gum tissues and slowly causes gum disease (bleeding gums and receding gums). Plaque is a sticky layer of bacteria that forms on the teeth and it can be removed through brushing and flossing. However, when the plaque is not removed, it hardens and becomes tartar, which cannot be removed at home and requires procedures like scaling to remove it.
During a regular dental visit, your dentist will not only examine your mouth but will also clean and scale your teeth and remove the tartar build up. This can prevent a lot of diseases and problems.
The dentist will first use special tools to remove tartar. It’s called scaling. Next, they may polish your teeth and remove any surface stains with a gritty paste. Then, they may floss your teeth to make sure the spaces between the teeth are clean.
Catching Problems At Their Early Stages Can Help Prevent Big Problems
Take the example of tooth decay. A dentist may be able to diagnose a little cavity, which can easily be taken care of. However, when you wait for pain and swelling, that cavity is probably at a big stage and is now a compound problem. It not only causes pain and swelling but might also cause the loss of a tooth, which can lead to further problems, not to mention the thousands of dollars in bills for tooth extraction and root canal treatment.
Hence, it’s better to visit a dentist twice a year and get regular checkups to catch problems at their early stage than wait for them to become more complicated and serious.
Paying A Small Bill For A Regular Visit Can Help Save A Huge Bill
More than one in three Americans delays dental care because of their financial situation, according to a 2013 survey by ORC International and Aspen Dental. A visit can cost them a few hundred dollars especially if they don’t have insurance. Hence, they tend to skip their appointments in order to save that much.
However, they are running a risk of paying thousands of dollars later for bigger problems and more complicated procedures.
A study by ADA elaborates on the types of patients who go to dentists: there are those patients who can afford dental care, go to the dentist and have good oral health while there are those patients who can’t afford dental care, avoid going to the dentist and end up with poor oral health, which can be pretty expensive to treat.
Although shelling out for fillings and regular cleaning might be frustrating and difficult to afford if you are broke but putting these off can cost a lot more in the long run. Check out this article on how to budget for your oral care.
Your Dentist Will Check Symptoms For Other Diseases
Besides checking your teeth and gums, your dentist will also examine your tongue, throat, face, head and neck to check for symptoms of other medical conditions that often show signs in the mouth. This also includes screening for oral cancer.
While it’s clear that you should visit a dentist as scheduled and avoid skipping your appointments, you should also take good care of your teeth and gums, brush your teeth twice, rinse your mouth with a mouthwash and use floss. This will ensure good oral health.