Although the American Dental Association recommends dental visits every six months, many patients fall out of the routine of making regular appointments. Whether it’s because of work obligations or because you came down with the flu, canceling that one appointment can quickly lead to a series of missed appointments and suddenly it’s been years since your last visit. If this sounds familiar, it’s time to get back on track and take charge of your oral health. Here’s why it’s important to see your dentist regularly.
Your Dental Health and Your Overall Health Are Closely Linked
You can’t have a healthy body without a healthy mouth—your oral health has a tremendous impact on your overall well-being. The evidence showing associations between gum disease and poor oral health with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, inflammation, and even preterm birth has been mounting in recent decades. It’s now undeniable that diseases of the mouth can impact your entire body.
Consider taking care of your teeth and gums as important as regular exercise and a balanced diet when it comes to your health. Regular dental exams are preventive care that benefits your overall wellness.
Regular Dental Cleanings Prevent Gum Disease and Cavities
As part of your biannual visits, we do a thorough dental cleaning that is very different from the brushing and flossing you do at home.
When you brush your teeth yourself, you remove plaque and food debris. Plaque that isn’t removed from the tooth surfaces eventually hardens into tartar. Tartar cannot be removed by brushing—it can only be removed with a professional dental cleaning. When it’s not removed, it sets the stage for gum disease and tooth decay.
After your teeth are cleaned, they’re polished to create a smooth surface that makes it difficult for new plaque and tartar deposits to collect. Maintain the results of your dental cleanings with diligent oral hygiene at home and you’ll go a long way towards preventing tooth decay and gum disease.
Early Treatment Is Always Best
Regular dental visits allow us to identify potential issues before they become serious problems. When we see you every six months for comprehensive dental exams, it’s easy for us to spot subtle changes to your teeth, gums, and soft tissues, usually before you start to experience any symptoms.
While this can involve minor issues—treating a cavity when it only requires a filling rather than a root canal, for example—it can also potentially save your life when a suspicious lesion is found during your oral cancer screening. No matter what the circumstances, early treatment always yields the most successful outcomes. In addition, treating oral health issues in their early stages is usually less expensive, complicated, and invasive. It’s much easier to find time for two dental exams a year than it is to make the time for a series of restorative procedures!