When was the last time you visited your dentist? Your dentist likely recommends you to come back every six months – have you ever wondered why that is? Even the Canadian and American Dental Associations recommend bi-annual check-ups and hygiene maintenance. Regular dental visits are important for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums. In between those visits, it is essential that you work hard to keep your teeth and gums healthy and clean. If your dentist feels that you need additional help, he or she might even suggest more frequent visits.
Skipping a dental checkup due to costs or other factors such as dental anxiety or time can cost you more in the long run, so be sure to consider all the risks first. Here are some of the most important reasons why you should make it a point to see your dentist regularly:
PLAQUE, TARTAR, AND CAVITIES
Even the most diligent brushers and flossers can still have some areas in their mouth that are missed by regular flossing and brushing, so do not be too complacent. There are hiding spots for bacteria. When plaque builds up, it can be more difficult to remove, solidifying and becoming tartar, which is extremely challenging to get rid of without help from a dentist or dental hygienist. The erosion of teeth or having holes in them due to the decay process can be prevented by having regular dental cleanings and pristine oral hygiene. Cavities rarely give warning signs as they form, and once the damage has been done, you will need to go back to your dentist to have cavities and other tooth problems fixed. Again, with regular cleanings and self-diligence, this can all be avoided.
The buildup of plaque and tartar do not only cause tooth decay, but it can also erode the mouth’s gum tissues. When tartar buildup causes an infection where the gum is connected to the tooth, the gum is pulled away from the tooth. This is known as gingivitis and the tissue that attaches the gums to the teeth breaks down when this occurs. When it reaches this point, it officially becomes gum disease. You will start to experience bleeding, swelling and soreness in the mouth. In addition to the breakdown of gum tissue, gum disease can also cause breakdown of the bone that holds your teeth in place. During this point, it is common to see loose or failing teeth and drastic treatment methods might be required.
FINDING PROBLEMS UNDER THE SURFACE VIA X-RAYS
Another crucial part of visiting your dentist regularly is getting your teeth and underlying structures x-rayed. X-ray images enable dental professionals to see what is really happening beneath the surfaces of your mouth. They can also find and diagnose issues that are invisible to the naked eye. X-rays show bone levels, structures and varying degrees of density to detect loss or spots that are softening especially between teeth where a surface inspection may not be able to access.
Keep in mind that dental professionals are not only concerned with fixing our teeth. They professionally clean the teeth, ensure that our teeth and gums are healthy, and they also check for abnormalities that might otherwise go unnoticed and that could be a sign of larger health issues.
So, be sure to have regular trips to the dentist! If you are looking for dentists you can rely on, contact us today and set up an appointment with us!