Most of us have heard how important it is to visit your dentist twice a year for oral exams and professional cleanings. But you may not understand all the reasons why those visits are so important. What follows are 5 of the most compelling reasons to see your dentist at least twice a year.
- Reduce your chances of developing tooth decay: Even the most thorough at-home oral hygiene routine won’t remove all of the plaque and tartar that build up on your teeth over time. Only a trained dental hygienist with special instrumentation can accomplish that. If plaque and tartar aren’t removed, tooth decay develops. That’s why having your teeth professionally cleaned at least twice a year reduces your chances of developing cavities.
- Lessen your chances of developing gum disease: Plaque and tartar not only cause cavities; they also lead to gum disease if left untreated. The early stage of the condition (gingivitis) is bad enough, but advanced gum disease (periodontitis) can lead to tooth loss and can even compromise the health of your jaw. Worse yet, gum disease has been linked to other more serious health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and even Alzheimer’s disease.
- Reduce your chances of developing oral cancer: When it comes to oral cancer, there is some good news and bad news. The good news is that this form of cancer can often be treated successfully if caught in the early stages. The bad news is that oral cancer often has no symptoms whatsoever until it has progressed into a very serious disease. Detecting oral cancer in its earliest stages is yet another reason why it’s so important to visit your dentist twice a year – often your dentist is the only one who can diagnose the condition while it’s still easily treatable.
- Give your dentist the opportunity to identify hidden oral health problems: You may have a problem and not even know about it. Oral health issues such as impacted wisdom teeth, compromised bone tissue, oral cancer, early-stage gum disease, and cavities can often only be identified via an X-ray. Fortunately, X-rays are typically part of the oral exam that your dentist performs when you visit him or her for professional cleanings and exams.
- Changing your habits for better oral health: You may be engaging in habits that are compromising your oral health. But when you visit your dentist for routine oral exams and professional cleanings, he or she can help to identify those habits so you can make changes that will improve the health of your teeth and gums.
By now, it should be obvious why visiting the dentist at least twice a year is so important. So why wait? Call your dentist today to schedule an appointment!