Do you prefer to prevent problems from occurring? Hopefully, the answer is yes because after all, it is the most sensible approach. But do you visit your dentist regularly? If you answered no, and you tend to skip appointments, then you are missing a very vital trick. In fact, preventative dental care is far easier, quicker, cheaper, and much more effective at helping to ensure your pearly whites remain strong and healthy.
Look After Your Teeth or Lose Them
Without regular tender loving care, it is highly likely your teeth will desert you that much earlier when really, they are meant to last for life. Those who are in the know already realize the benefits of ongoing preventative dental care and they are reaping the benefits, enjoying teeth that always look great and which are strong and healthy. In the longer-term, their dental bills are lower, and it is likely their medical bills will be too. Good dental health has a huge and very positive impact on your general health. Apart from anything, a nice, well-maintained smile is always a great asset.
But My Teeth Look and Feel Fine, Why See a Dentist?
Most people need to see the dentist every six months, but the temptation to ignore those reminders from your dental office can be strong. After all, if your teeth look and feel fine then surely it is just money and time down the drain? Well, it isn’t and here is why.
Preventing and Treating Problems Before You Can See or Feel Them
The idea of preventative dentistry such as deep teeth cleaning is to avoid problems or to treat any early signs of dental disease at a stage well before you have noticed anything is wrong. It is a sensible approach that will help to prevent dental emergencies, and most importantly will help to preserve your teeth. When a dentist can treat the very first signs of a problem like tooth decay, then the treatment is quicker, cheaper, and it preserves more of your tooth. Protecting more of your natural tooth structure is always important because it will help the tooth to last longer.
In contrast, when you wait for a problem to develop, then your tooth might become sensitive or even painful, and there might also be some signs of decay or damage to the tooth. At this stage there is a far higher risk of a tooth becoming badly infected, so you are more likely to require complex and more expensive treatment such as root canal therapy. The cost won’t stop there, as a badly damaged tooth requires typically much more extensive restoration than a small and inexpensive filling, and it will most likely need a full dental crown. You could even lose the tooth.
Protecting Your General Health
Over the past few decades, it has become increasingly clear that general health and dental health are intimately connected. If you ignore your dental health, you place your general health in peril. For example, a severe tooth infection that develops into an abscess can become life-threatening, but one far more common problem is gum disease.
Most people will develop some form of gum disease at some point during their lifetime, and it’s an extremely serious condition because it can adversely affect your general health. Gum disease has been connected to many different general health problems including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, stroke, heart disease, and some cancers. At the very least, advanced gum disease places you at considerable risk of losing your teeth! The reason why gum disease is so serious is that the bacteria responsible for causing the infection can enter your bloodstream through your diseased gums, potentially creating new sites of inflammation and infection in your body.
Additionally, when you visit your dentist regularly, they will carry out oral cancer screenings because oral cancer is another disease that is, unfortunately, becoming more common. A primary issue with oral cancer is a late diagnosis, by which time treatment is far more invasive and far less successful. By contrast, your dentist is specially trained to detect early symptoms of oral cancer by closely examining your oral tissues including your cheeks, lips, gums, tongue, and the roof and floor of your mouth.
They check these tissues for any signs of color changes, any changes to the texture, as well as looking for any unexplained lumps, bumps or growths that require further investigation. When detected early enough, the prognosis for oral cancer is significantly better, and it’s a simple test that is quick, painless and non-invasive.
Making Sure You Receive the Best Preventative Dental Care
The reasons for regularly visiting your dentist are compelling, so make sure you schedule those six-monthly visits without fail. If your dentist does spot anything wrong, then you can soon receive the most appropriate treatment, but the great thing about preventative dentistry is that often no further treatment is required until your next checkup.
However, when you book a checkup be sure to schedule a hygiene appointment at the same time. Having your teeth cleaned professionally is the easiest and most effective way to maintain strong and healthy gums, protecting your teeth and your general health.
During your regular dental visits, your oral health is continually and closely monitored, giving you peace of mind that you are doing everything possible to look after your teeth. You should also find that your local dental office has a wealth of useful information, because your dental team can educate you on the best way to look after your teeth and gums at home, and you can also get customized advice on maintaining a healthy and tooth-friendly diet.
In between visits, make sure you never skip your oral hygiene routine. It’s imperative to brush your teeth at least twice a day, and if you want to maintain healthy teeth and gums, then you must floss once-a-day. If flossing is something you rarely do because you find it too awkward or uncomfortable, then ask your dental office for advice and practical help.
They can show you the proper techniques for flossing or can discuss other ways to clean thoroughly in between your teeth. There is always a solution, and you simply have to find it! Really, you don’t need to make that much effort or spend that much time on maintaining a healthy mouth, and the rewards are well worth it.