Going to the dentist is rarely anyone’s idea of fun. Perhaps, you’ve also put off going to the dentist for a bi-annual dental cleaning and checkup due to your busy schedules. Or, something more plausible – maybe you’re terrified of visiting the dentist either because you’ve fallen behind on your oral hygiene or because you’ve had a traumatic experience with the white coat in the past.
No matter what your reasoning for procrastinating your dental visit, it is more important than you’d think. Dentists around the world recommend regular dental visits at least twice a year with 6-monthly intervals. Though dental professionals urge patients to visit twice annually, most people do not comply. In fact, as many as 100 million Americans do not see their dentists even once a year, some studies claim.
Prevention is the best and only defense against cavities and gum diseases. Unfortunately, brushing and flossing are no longer enough to get you optimal oral health.
Why is brushing and flossing not enough?
An optimal dental hygiene routine goes beyond just brushing after meals and flossing whenever you can. In fact, an integral part of oral hygiene is regular dental checkups and cleanings. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), biannual dental cleanings and checkups are crucial to preventative dental care.
Thorough professional dental cleaning helps remove plaque and tartar buildup between your teeth and underneath your gums where your toothbrush cannot readily reach. During the cleaning, your dentist can identify and treat dental ailments early on, saving you from requiring complex and expensive procedures later on.
What can you expect during a dental checkup?
Your dentist or hygienist will inquire about your recent personal or family medical history. Then, they proceed to conduct a thorough examination of your mouth. Sometimes, dental x-rays may be necessary to help assess conditions that are not visible to the naked eye. One of the most important benefits of biannual checkups is the early identification of gum disease. Your dentist will use special dental instruments to check for any signs of gum disease.
They will also evaluate your overall dental health and even employ an oral cancer screening. By doing so, they will be able to detect any suspicious signs of disease early on, saving you from future losses.
What are some signs that you should visit a dentist?
The ADA reports certain tell-tale signs to inform you when you should be visiting a dentist:
- Teeth sensitive to hot or cold.
- Swollen or bleeding gums.
- Fillings, crowns, implants, or denture issues.
- Persistent bad breath.
- History of gum disease or tooth decay.
- Regular smokers or alcoholics.
- Medical issues such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, eating disorders, or HIV positive.
- If you’re pregnant.
- If you do not like the way your teeth look anymore.
- Dry mouth.
- If you have undergone medical treatment such as radiation, chemotherapy, or hormone replacement therapy.
- Difficulty opening mouth or chewing.
- Popping or painful jaw.
- A sore or lesion that does not go away.
How often should I go to the dentist?
It isn’t set in stone that you should only visit your dentist twice a year. While some may need two sessions a year, others may need more visits to comprehensively care for their teeth and gums. Every individual is unique and should receive a unique treatment module to fit their individual smiles.
While it may seem like a challenge to model tedious dental appointments around your busy routine, biannual preventative dental cleaning helps you gain more than you may lose. Ultimately, these sessions will also help save you time, money, and discomfort by preventing the need for more sophisticated treatments. If you haven’t paid your dentist in a while, it is time you take this sign to do just that!
Call Angel Dental in El Monte for a cleaning 626-444-2002