Few of us were informed about just how important dentistry is when we were growing up and our brushing habits were being set. Many of us were not told we had to do it very carefully for two minutes after breakfast and again after dinner. Some families do not even emphasize the importance of also flossing before bedtime.
Most of us also were given the impression that the main purpose of going to the dentist was to treat cavities. If we’ve been lucky and had few, it seems like a minor problem to be dealt with if it happens, so visiting a dental office for a checkup doesn’t seem very important.
In fact, not having a dental exam twice a year can result in very serious problems. You probably were not told that if oral bacteria are allowed to flourish, the risk for heart disease and stroke, diabetes, and cancer is much greater. This can happen just because of not doing brushing and flossing just right.
And unless you see the dentist regularly, you definitely won’t catch periodontal disease early. Like tooth decay, by the time you feel any pain from this, it’s too late. But unlike cavities, which can be easily removed and the hole filled, periodontal infection can lead to losing a tooth, which starts a gradual misalignment that causes many teeth to fall out or need to be extracted.
There are other reasons to see a dentist twice a year, before your oral health gets out of control:
- Because brushing and flossing is not easy to do right, it’s wise to have a dental hygienist perform a professional cleaning that will get your teeth and gums back to their best possible shape, with instructions on dealing with problem areas. Then have her show you the optimum way to brush and floss.
- If oral bacteria get out of control, even your best friends are probably not going to tell you that your breath doesn’t smell very good.
- If you drink the average amount of coffee, tea, or red wine, your teeth are likely to become discolored over time, especially if you don’t brush right afterwards. Some other beverages and foods, as well as medications, can also cause this. Over-the-counter whiteners do not have the power of whitening done at the dental office, which can remove eight shades in an hour.
- The dentist can check for early signs of oral and throat cancer.
- Only a dental x-ray (which results in very little radiation compared with traditional film versions) can reveal the condition of your jawbone, which can be deteriorating due to periodontal infection without any symptoms.
If it’s past time for you to have a comprehensive dental exam, give us a call today. You will not regret dealing with any problems before they get out of control.