Going to the dentist is not an activity that many people look forward to. The uncomfortable feeling of someone poking and prodding around in your mouth isn’t exactly what we consider a good time. You may think that if you brush twice a day, floss regularly, and see no obvious signs of oral problems, that you can skip some of these twice-yearly appointments. However, many people fail to realize the importance of oral health, not only for your mouth, but your overall wellness.
What is Preventative Dentistry?
Preventative Dentistry became popular about 50 years ago when, during military physicals, it was noticed that people were not taking very good care of their teeth. Dentists had practices that were focused on fixing problems, instead of preventing problems. The dental community came to agreement that, to promote oral hygiene and prevent illnesses such as tooth decay and gum disease, the average person should see a dentist twice a year. The importance of the bi-annual checkups created many more healthy and happy patients because of the numerous benefits of regular dental cleanings.
Top 5 Benefits of Maintaining Regular Dental Appointments
- Cleaner Teeth
No matter how hard you try to keep your teeth clean and healthy, plaque and tartar will build up around and in between your teeth. Most people have at least some on their teeth and those with permanent retainers will typically see a lot of buildup. These substances need to be professionally removed from your teeth. Getting your teeth polished is another step of the cleaning process that will leave your teeth sparkling. Fluoride treatments are also available during these appointments to strengthen your teeth.
- Discovering Cavities Before it Gets Bad
That sharp pain you feel in your tooth when you suck in cold air, eat something cold, or sweet, is a cavity that has had a lot of time to form and has now caused a hole in your tooth. When a cavity first begins to form, you may not have any symptoms. Until the cavity has been allowed to eat away at the tooth for a while and begins to cause pain, there may be nothing to signal you that you have a cavity at all. Going to your dentist twice a year can prevent this from happening to you. Your dentist will not only look at your teeth, but feel them as well, to be able to tell if there is a cavity or risk of a cavity forming. Many times, if there is a cavity forming, you can schedule an appointment to have this corrected within a few weeks or sooner and avoid the pain and hassle of waiting too long to see the dentist.
- Preventing Gum Disease
Gum disease can begin as gingivitis which is when your gums become red, swollen, and bleed easily due to poor oral hygiene. When in the stage of gingivitis, gum disease is completely treatable and easily corrected. If allowed to advance all the way to Periodontitis however, you can experience tooth and bone loss due to gum disease. This causes a lot of pain and much more advanced treatment options all the way up to surgery. Seeing your dentist twice a year can catch gum disease in the early stage of gingivitis so that it can be corrected painlessly. If you practice good oral hygiene, as suggested by your dentist, at home, coupled with consistency in going to the dentist, you can prevent gingivitis from occurring completely.
- Oral Cancer Screenings
There are over 30,000 Americans that suffer from oral cancer every year. Oral cancer is one of the fastest spreading cancers and seeing your dentist twice a year can save your life. A history of oral cancer, or being part of a high-risk group, will prompt your dentist to do an oral cancer screening at your appointments. Catching this cancer early will greatly increase your odds of beating this disease.
- Overall Health and Well Being
There is a strong link between good oral health and a person’s overall well being. The condition of your teeth and gums can impact just about every system in your body, including circulatory, digestive, reproductive and respiratory systems. By seeing your dentist every 6 months, you’re on the right path for better oral health.
Keep in mind that some people may need to go to the dentist more than twice a year. Factors such as pregnancy, diabetes, smoking, having gum disease already or being prone to cavities, will help your dentist decide how often you should come in for checkups. If you haven’t been to the dentist in a long time, you can expect a set of X-rays, a full cleaning, and an examination at your first appointment. After this, regular checkups will include a cleaning and cavity check unless your treatment program is customized by your dentist to include other screenings or procedures as well.
Looking for a dentist in Park City? Schedule your appointment today! Call (435) 647-3012