Avoiding Your Regular Dental Checkups? Here's Why You Shouldn't

 Azarko Marketing  Thursday, September 18, 2014

Dentists in Japan are currently developing an artificial tooth enamel that could prevent tooth decay and make teeth whiter. This "tooth patch" can coat teeth with the same mineral that makes up tooth enamel to protect teeth – an incredible discovery.

Future inventions like this one are making dental health simpler and easier than ever before. Yet all of these inventions don't take away the necessity of seeing a dentist regularly.

You may think that your age or dental health – or your fear of the dentist – is enough of an excuse to avoid the dentist. However, when you visit a dentist every six months, you not only keep your teeth and gums clean, but you also enjoy a myriad of other health benefits.

6 Reasons to Get Your Bi-annual Checkup 1. Maintains Healthy Teeth

Strong teeth are necessary for biting, chewing, smiling, and many other daily actions. It's not a good idea to take teeth for granted.

When you arrive for a checkup, your teeth and gums will be cleaned and polished, and your dentist will check for signs of decay or other indications that your teeth are weakening. Getting preventative care gives your teeth a longer lifespan.

2. Catches Problems

It takes a dentist to catch potential dental problems that are invisible to the common eye. When you visit a dentist office, your dentist can catch any dental issues in the beginning stages so they do not progress to something worrisome. If you do have a dental issue, your dentist will know how to fix it.

3. Prevents Disease

Plaque buildup isn't something that can be completely stopped; it's a natural process. If it's not removed during a dental checkup, plaque can embed under your gum tissues and cause periodontal disease, which damages tissue and bone, resulting in tooth loss.

And, it's not just dental-related diseases you have to worry about. Bacteria on the teeth can end up in the blood stream and eventually clog blood vessels, causing heart disease.

4. Enhances Quality of Life

Avoiding regular dental checkups is considered a health-risk behavior that, grouped with other negative health behaviors, is associated with chronic diseases. Getting regular dental checkups (along with other good health practices, like eating a nutritious diet and exercising) can increase your chance of living a full, healthy life.

5. Makes for a Great Smile

Have to include a photo with your job application? Or looking to post a new profile picture on a social media site? You'll want to dazzle with a great smile. Sure, there's always Photoshop, but what about when you interview with a great company or meet an online friend for a lunch date? There's no fooling people in person if you're not keeping your teeth healthy.

6. Saves Money

If you're the practical type who's always thinking of your wallet, consider the twice-yearly dental checkup as considerably cheaper than a root canal, surgery, or other procedure that could have been prevented by regular checkups.

What to Expect at Your Checkup

Many people don't come in to the dentist because of fear, which may be based on what they see on TV or hear from others. In reality, a regular checkup is nothing to fear.

Here's what the dental professionals will do for you when you come in for a checkup:

  1. Clean: A dental hygienist checks your gums and teeth and cleans your teeth. He or she removes tartar above and below the gum line. The process may be a bit uncomfortable at first but is not painful.
  2. Polish: The hygienist polishes the crowns of your teeth to remove plaque and stains.
  3. Instruct: The hygienist may instruct you on proper brushing and flossing habits.
  4. Examine: You might get an X-ray taken of your teeth so your dentist can better evaluate your teeth.
  5. Evaluate: Your dentist checks your teeth and looks for any problems. He or she may ask you to return for a filling or treatment, or refer you to a periodontist or orthodontist, if needed.

At times, your dentist may recommend a comprehensive exam so he or she can fully evaluate your dental needs. For this exam, the dentist checks many areas of the head and mouth.

  1. Your dentist checks your head, neck, and jaw. He or she ensures your TMJ joint is working properly by asking you to open and close your mouth and move your jaw from side to side. He or she may also check your salivary glands and lymph nodes, as swelling there could indicate disease.
  2. Your dentist checks soft tissues of the mouth, including the tongue, lips, and cheeks, and looks for abnormal areas.
  3. Your dentist checks your gums for redness, puffiness, or other factors that indicate gum disease.
  4. Your dentist examines your bite to see how well your teeth fit together.
  5. Your dentist uses special instruments to check for decay and cavities.

Remember, the dental checkup is neither painful nor scary. Your dentist will not undergo any procedure without your permission. If you have any questions during your dental checkup, feel free to ask.