October 26, 2021
While most of us keep up with routine medical checkups, dental health is often ignored. The reason behind this is that most of us consider diligently brushing twice a day and flossing as the be-all and end-all of dental health maintenance. However, that’s not the case at all. Even with the most diligent tooth brushing, there are parts of our mouths that go untouched. These parts become more susceptible to problems.
Issues like plaque, tartar, cavities, and even some serious issues like oral cancer are commonplace if you don’t keep up with your dental health and regular dentist visit. Most of these issues don’t show telltale signs unless it's too late. As a result, you end up spending a bucket load of money on treatments, which you were trying to avoid initially by skimping on dental checkups.
Preventive dentistry is what will help you stay on top of your dental health and prevent any serious issues that may cause you financial or health distress. That includes regular cleaning and checkup of your teeth by a dental professional to detect any issues early on or prevent any serious illness. Here are some of the reasons why preventive dentistry is important.
Detect Dental Problems in Time
As mentioned before, most dental problems like tooth decay, gum decay, and periodontal disease don’t show any signs until it’s too late. Your dentist or dental professional has been trained to detect these signs early on, even if they are not quite evident to you.
The best way to detect these signs and symptoms of dental issues is to get a regular dental checkup. It’s recommended that you get a dental checkup at least twice a year.
Dentists also lookout for signs of oral cancer in your mouth. That is another reason why dental checkup is crucial is apart from teeth and gum health. Oral cancer, if left undetected and untreated, can soon progress into a life-threatening disease.
Dentists often use a special light to detect dead tissues caused by tumors. This test is called a VELscope cancer exam and is a painless and non-intrusive procedure that only takes a couple of minutes. A person who visits their dentist twice a year will have very little chance of late-stage oral cancer.
Avoid Teeth Decay and Cavities
Even if you’re extremely fastidious and diligent with your brushing and flossing, some hard-to-reach places in your mouth will always be missed. A very good example of this is the back molars, which are notoriously hard to reach and clean properly. This is the reason why you must visit your dentist twice a year to get such hard-to-reach places looked up for any sort of plaque or tartar buildup that may erode or decay your teeth.
Your dentist might start you on fluoride treatment if there are early signs of tooth decay like small cavities or white spots. Larger cavities will require proper filling to reverse any sort of decay. If fortunately, you don’t have any serious issues, a dental cleaning will be the order of the day.
A dental deep cleaning helps clean up any plaque build-up that may be present and might result in tartar, which requires a professional cleanup. A regular dental cleaning routine will keep conditions like tooth erosion and gingivitis at the bay.
Keep Your Teeth Strong
The American Dental Association or ADA recommends brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day with a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to maintain the strength of your teeth.
Fluoride is known for promoting the re-absorption of minerals such as phosphate and calcium, which are essential to your teeth. These minerals shield your teeth against acid produced by eating sugar and prevent mild dental cavities.
A dentist will be able to tell you when your teeth need a fluoride treatment to avoid any cavities that may cause discomfort later on. A fluoride treatment is generally recommended for adults, especially those who are prone to dental cavities due to their eating habits.
Children can also benefit from fluoride treatment since they are more susceptible to cavities. However, fluoride overdose is a thing and therefore a dental checkup is a must for children.
Improve Oral Health
Preventive dentistry is not just restricted to teeth and gum issues. It covers a broad aspect of oral health. Apart from tooth and gum issues, a head and neck exam is another part of a routine dental checkup.
The dental professional is trained to look for lymph nodes, neck or jaw swelling, lumps, and deformities, among other signs of illness. In case of any lymph issues, the dentist will be able to refer the patient to a more appropriate medical professional.
This is one of the most important reasons to keep up with your bi-annual dentist visits. The cost of dental checkups and cleaning is far less than the cost of treatment for severe dental decay.
Severe decay may lead to tooth extraction, which in turn will require cosmetic and restorative procedures like dental implants. These restorations are not only expensive by themselves but also involve expensive maintenance. With regular cleaning and maintenance, you can avoid these expensive treatments.
Needless to say, regular oral checkups and screening will avoid a world of hurt for you both in terms of health and money. For this reason, preventive dentistry is beneficial to all, regardless of age. Apart from keeping up with dental checkups, also take care of bad habits like eating too much sugar, smoking, and consumption of caffeine or alcohol.