Maintaining a healthy smile by taking proper preventative care is the key to lasting dental health.
Going to the dentist is something that many people only do when they have a dental problem. The problem is that waiting until there’s a problem means that correcting it may take longer, it may be more expensive and it may even be painful. People who only call the dentist when there’s something wrong with their teeth usually associate trips to the dentist with pain, expense and maybe even lost teeth. The secret to making dental appointments comfortable and saving money on expensive treatments is to go to the dentist regularly for checkups. Dental checkups can catch problems early and prevent the need for costly and invasive procedures.
Everyone should see the dentist for checkups at least once a year; preferably twice a year. During a checkup, the dentist can exam your teeth and spot trouble that you may have overlooked. Even if you brush and floss regularly, you may still develop problems, including gum disease. Gum disease is not just something that happens to people who don’t take care of their teeth; it can be caused by genetics or it can be a side effect of some medications. If you see symptoms of gum disease like swollen or bleeding gums, that means it has already progressed to a serious stage. A routine dental exam can spot gum disease so early that it will only take a simple dental cleaning to reverse it.
A dental cleaning is usually part of a routine checkup even if gum disease is not present. A cleaning thoroughly cleans each tooth, between the teeth and the gums. A cleaning usually provides a fluoride treatment to keep your tooth enamel strong and reduce the risk of cavities and tooth decay.
Another benefit of routine dental checkups is that they make going to the dentist a familiar experience. This is important for children and helps them avoid dental fear and anxiety. Adults who have dental anxiety usually develop it over years of not seeing a dentist unless there is a problem that is already painful and may require uncomfortable procedures to correct. Routinely visiting the dentist’s office can make going to the dentist a normal experience, and it can prevent problems from progressing to an uncomfortable stage.
If you have not seen the dentist for awhile and you currently have no dental problems, this is actually a great time to pick up the phone and make an appointment for a checkup. Making preventative dental care part of your life now can keep your teeth healthy and make good oral hygiene a part of your life.