If you skipped getting a dental checkup last year, you’re not alone. Many people find it all too easy to find reasons not to go to the dentist! Unfortunately, however, this can wind up costing you more money and time in the dental chair later on, so it’s well worth it to schedule these visits twice a year.
Learn more below about the many ways that checkups benefit you and how these visits will improve and maintain your oral health in 2019!
Why Is It So Important To Get Regular Checkups?
One way of thinking about this is that checkups are to your teeth what tune-ups are to your car. Just like you would never neglect oil changes because you wouldn’t want to risk breaking down, skipping checkups can lead to serious oral health problems down the road.
And, while you may think that you’re only having your teeth checked for cavities, in fact, every aspect of your oral health is being monitored, including:
- Existing dental work – Any existing fillings, dental crowns and other dental work is checked to make sure it’s still functioning properly. If potential problems are caught in time, such as a small cavity around the margin of a crown, they can often be treated to extend the life of that dental work and avoid the need for a replacement.
- Your gum health – You already know it’s important to keep your teeth healthy, but you might not know how important your gum health is. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss and has also been found to increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, pregnancy complications, Alzheimer’s, and even some cancers.
- Oral cancer detection – Early detection of cancer is always important, which is why both a dentist and hygienist visually examine all of your soft tissues to screen for oral cancer at each checkup.
- Minimize major dental work – When problems such as cavities are found as early as possible, they’re easier and less expensive to treat. For example, a small cavity can be treated with a filling, but a larger cavity may need a dental crown or root canal.
How Can You Keep Your Smile Healthy Between Visits?
In addition to regular checkups, your everyday habits are also important:
- Brushing and flossing – Brush twice a day for 2 minutes and floss once – and be sure to aim for better, not perfect. If you miss a day or two of flossing, just pick back up where you left off.
- Use the right tools – Many people benefit from the use of a hygiene aid like an electric toothbrush, floss picks, or an oral irrigator. Experiment to find what works best for you.
- Minimize sugar – Simply reducing the total amount of sugar you consume is a great way to prevent cavities.
If you didn’t do as well with your dental care as you would have liked last year, it’s a great time to turn over a new leaf. With a few good habits and regular checkups, a healthy smile can be yours.