About 30 to 40 million people in the United States have a fear of going to the dentist.
This means that a lot of people may end up missing their dentist appointments.
Going to the dentist is not just about surgeries and cleanings. Keep reading for 7 reasons why you need regular dental checkups which we compiled with the help of Southgate Dental.
1. Avoid Further Complications
Making sure that you go to your dental checkups will help to ensure that you won’t have more serious problems further on down the road.
During your checkup, your dentist will check your teeth for problems such as cavities. If these are caught early, they are a lot easier to treat which means that it will save you money and some pain.
Catching problems such as tooth decay early on can also help to make sure that you don’t get an infection. An infection in your mouth can be extremely painful especially when it spreads to the root of your tooth.
Your dentist will also be able to spot gum disease and help you treat that early on as well.
2. Screening for Oral Cancer
By making sure you go to all your dental appointments, you can also have your dentist screen you for oral cancer.
There are hundreds of cases diagnosed each year, but if it’s detected early on then you will have a higher chance of beating it. However, a lot of the time oral cancer isn’t noticed until it is in the later stages, so this is why you need to make sure you go to your screenings.
Many people think that they will be able to tell if they have oral cancer, but many people don’t even know what the symptoms of oral cancer are. The symptoms are also things that could be explained as something else, so it’s always a good idea to make sure that a professional checks it out.
One of the screenings is the VELscope cancer exam. It is free of pain and normally non-intrusive. It also doesn’t take very much time to do and could potentially end up saving your life.
3. Avoid Tartar, Plaque Buildup, and Cavities
Even if you think you are great at brushing your teeth, there is still a chance that you are missing some small areas. Thankfully your dentist knows how to get in those crevices and make sure that there is no plaque buildup.
If you aren’t used to flossing, your dentist will also make sure that they floss your teeth and give them a good cleaning.
Having these dental cleanings also helps with removing plaque and tartar. When the plaque on your teeth builds up, it hardens and becomes tartar which can be really difficult to remove from your teeth without the help of a professional.
If you don’t go to the dentist and just let tartar build up on your teeth, then it will start to eat away at your tooth and could even cause holes or eroding on your teeth. You most likely won’t even notice you have a cavity until it’s too late, and then you will have no choice but to go to the dentist.
So the lesson is to make sure you have your dentist clean your teeth at least twice a year.
4. Get Routine X-Rays
At your dentist, they will most likely X-ray your teeth and jaw. This will let them see problems that you or even the dentist might not notice.
One common reason for X-rays is to see if your wisdom teeth are growing or have become impacted. If they have been impacted, you will need to see an oral surgeon to remove them.
These pictures can also show if you need a procedure like a root canal because it can detect problems that can’t be seen with the naked eye.
If you have had damage to your jaw, X-rays will also be able to detect this. These X-rays can show if you have any tumors or other major oral issues that need to be treated right away.
If you are having problems with your jaw, the images will be able to show if it is all properly aligned or if you need to correct your jaw placement.
5. Check Your Lymph Nodes and Neck
We mentioned earlier that a dentist will do a check for oral cancer, but they can also check your lymph nodes and your neck.
If any of the lymph nodes are swollen or there are any other issues, this could be another sign of cancer or some other health issue. Your dentist will let you know of their concerns and they can give you a referral to go see a specialist.
Like the oral cancer screening, this check will only take a few minutes but could potentially save your life.
Without going to the dentist, you may not have even notice that there was an issue, but the dentist is a professional who is trained to notice things like that.
6. Use Your Dentist Insurance
If you have a job and have healthcare benefits, you most likely have dental insurance. However, many people each year don’t end up taking advantage of this.
Most insurances cover two cleanings a year, and if you don’t use these by the end of the year you won’t be able to get the benefits that you paid for.
If you go to your dentist often and communicate with them, you will soon learn what is and isn’t covered, and you will learn what to expect for the next checkup.
If you haven’t been in a while and aren’t sure what’s covered or not, you can always just call and ask. You could even contact your insurance provider to find out.
7. Contributes to Your Overall Health
One of the best reasons to make sure you go to your dental appointments is that it will help you feel healthy overall.
There have been studies done that show that making sure you have good oral hygiene will also help boost your overall health.
Make Sure You Go to Your Dental Checkups
Going to your dental checkups is just as important as making sure you go to your general care provider.
There are so many reasons that this will help you and possibly even save your life.
To read more about how it can help you overall, read this post.