Why dental health check-ups are so important
We often go to the doctor annual for check-ups and yet the idea of doing the same thing with general dentistry doesn’t seem to be as popular. Too many people simply wait until there is something wrong, like a tooth ache, and then have it dealt with. This isn’t a wise course of action for several reasons.
Catch Problems Early
This is really the biggest and most important reason to go for regular dental check-ups. By the time you are feeling pain or seeing problems in your teeth, the situation is far worse than it needed to be. A cavity can be detected while still tiny, resulting in a minor drilling and filling.
But if that same unnoticed cavity is left alone until it hurts, it will continue to decay the tooth and that means a huge hole to fill in. Even worse, the tooth is too deteriorated to save, and you have to get it extracted. If you have really let it slide, infection can spread further into the jaw bone and require a full root canal. And don’t assume that pain is your best guide to severity. These problems can get very bad before you even start to feel anything.
Waiting until the symptoms are uncomfortable is like waiting until smoke is pouring out of your car before taking it for a tune up. Go regularly, just once a year, and you can make a big difference in stopping problems before they get serious.
Keep up the Routine
It can be very easy to just forget about dental care, and lose track of your appointments if you don’t bother with them. Has it been 2 years, or 3? Maybe even 10? It makes it harder to get back into regular care if you’ve left it for too long. The idea of going to the dentist can be unpleasant in general, and when it’s been a decade since your last trip, it inflates the anxiety. Regular (and easy) check-ups are great for building up some confidence about seeing the dentist.
Another aspect of this tip is that it helps to create a personal relationship with your dental professionals if you go at least annually. They’re more likely to remember you, which can help with tailoring your treatments to personal needs once they get to know you.
Generally, we all know how to brush our teeth and floss. But sometimes a little nudge from a dentist can remind us about how to do these things properly. By seeing a professional for a check-up, it can provide a quick refresher on proper toothbrush handling, floss methods, and mouthwash recommendations.
While not strictly a check-up issue, getting your teeth professionally cleaned regularly is also a good idea to maintain good oral health. Brushing at home with good toothpaste is fine but a proper scaling (especially the back teeth that are hard to reach) can eliminate more plaque, germs and stains.
So even if there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with your teeth, if it’s been more than a year since you last saw a dentist, getting a check-up is a good idea.