While a daily routine of brushing and flossing is important, it is equally important to find a dentist for additional oral health support. A visit to the dentist should happen at least once or twice a year, rather than only scheduling an appointment when tooth pain has become unbearable. There are preventative measures taken during…
Find a Dentist for Yearly Checkups
No matter how diligently you brush and floss, there are places in the mouth that are hard to thoroughly clean. It is important to find a dentist for routine cleanings and checkups. These exams can reveal if cavities have started to form or if there are oral concerns that require treatment. Seeing a dentist at least twice a year makes it less likely that a person will develop serious dental issues.
4 benefits of routine dental care
In addition to the need for a more thorough cleaning, there are several other reasons to find a dentist for yearly checkups. These are just a few of the benefits that come from keeping a yearly dental care appointment.
1. Prevention of tooth decay
The back molars are a hard place to reach, and even with twice-a-day brushing, these areas can easily develop cavities. During a yearly checkup, the dentist looks for white spots or signs of cavities on the teeth. Untreated, cavities and decay can lead to painful nerve damage and tooth loss. A dentist may use fluoride to help reverse decay, and larger cavities may need to be filled. The professional cleaning done during a checkup removes the tartar and plaque that can contribute to tooth decay.
2. Detection of oral cancer
During the exam of the mouth, a dentist checks for early signs of oral cancer. Using a special light, a dentist looks for any dead tissue that may be caused by a tumor. It is a painless exam that only takes a few minutes. Cancerous lumps may form along the gums, the tongue, the floor of the mouth, or the tonsils, and if left undiscovered, could progress to a life-threatening illness. Speaking to the dentist about any sores or irritations that do not go away or pain and tenderness in areas of the mouth can help identify the presence of oral cancer.
3. Intervention with gum disease
Gum disease does not have serious symptoms when first developing. However, a dentist is trained to spot receding gum lines, deep gum pockets, or swelling within the gums. There are a number of potential causes for gum disease, and a dentist can prescribe a treatment that addresses the underlying conditions. Oral hygiene habits play a part in strong, healthy gums, and patients are often advised during their annual checkup how to improve their habits to prevent or heal gum disease.
4. Detection of systemic health concerns
Oral health has an impact on overall health, and a dental checkup can reveal when there may be other health concerns that need to be addressed. Tooth loss can lead to poor nutrition, which could have an impact on how strong the immune system remains. A dentist is also able to detect swelling in the lymph nodes in the neck, as well as deformities or nodules forming in the neck or jaws. If a problem is noted, a dentist can make the appropriate referrals for further assessment.
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These are just a few of the reasons why it is important to find a dentist to handle annual dental care needs. Regular checkups prevent serious oral problems and help maintain healthy teeth and gums.
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