A visit to the dentist isn’t something that people necessarily look forward to, but it is something that should be done regularly to help maintain your overall oral health. But why are regular checkups so important? what does a dentist look for? what should you expect? and how often do you need to go? today we’ll talk about all of these questions and more in our guide to visit the dentist. So let’s get started:
Why are regular dental visits so important? what are dentists looking for?
- They can help fight against plaque, tartar, and cavities
- No matter how well and how ofter we brush our teeth, there are still areas of the mouth that we are likely to miss. When plaque starts to build up in these areas, the results is tartar and/or cavities. Dentists can help us to remove this extra plaque buildup, and thereby can help us to fight against tartar, cavities, and other oral health concerns.
- The detection of oral cancer
- The key to fighting back against oral cancer is to fight it early. The problem is, most of us don’t know to detect early stages of oral cancer. Dentists do. By looking for the signs of oral cancer at each checkup, dentists can help to catch the disease early and drastically improve your chances of treating it.
- The prevention of gum disease
- The buildup of plaque and tartar can not only lead to cavities, but can also erode the tissues of the gumx. When this happens, you end up with what is called gingivitis. If caught in the early states, gum disease can be preventable. But if left for too long, it can cause you to lose your teeth. A dentists can help you detect gum disease early and provide you with tips for getting your oral health back on track.
- Finding problems under the surface
- Though we can often spot things like cavities because they hurt, there are some oral health care concerns that are easily undetected. Things like impacted teeth, swelling, tumors, and cyst can all be difficult to detect with the naked eye and go long periods of time without being detected. Regular X-rays with the dentist can help to catch these conditions early, preventing larger issues from arising down the road.
- Detecting other health concerns
- In addition to looking for all of the things above, dentists will also check your head, neck, and lymph nodes for signs of of swelling or lumps, which could be a sign of further health issues.
What does a routine visit to the dentist look like?
If you visit the dentist regularly, you will only have to go for routine visits and checkups. During this visit you will be covered with a large cloth to protech your clothing, and eye goggle to protect your eyes. After sitting you in the chair, you will be leaned back and the dentist will start to remove plaque from your teeth and gums using some of their specialized tools and equipment. They may floss your teeth as well. After rinsing, your dentist will use a small tool with a spinning head to polish your teeth. From there, you will rinse and then discuss any concerns that the dentist may have.
During this time, the dentist may make suggestions to improve your oral health care routine, or may suggest that you come back for a non-routine visit if you need any additional work (fillings, wisdom teeth removal, X-rays, etc).
And it’s really that simple.
How ofter should you visit the dentist?
Aim to visit the dentist every 6 months. This length of time should remain stable regardless of wether the visit is for a child, adult, or senior.
Of course, there may be some situations that arise where you will need to visit the dentist before this time. Generally speaking, you should schedule a dentist visit anytime:
- You have persisting pain in your teeth or gums.
- Your gums are bleeding when you floss (for an extended period of time).
You chip a tooth.
- You have ongoing medical issues that could affect your oral health (diabetes, HIV, eating disorders, etc).
- You are having difficulty eating or swallowing.
- You are experiencing symptoms of dry mouth.
- You are experiencing jaw pain.
- You notice any abnormal sores in your mouth.
And remember, a trip to the dentist isn’t something to fear – it’s something to be thankful for. Regular dental visits can help to improve your overall oral health and give you the smile that you’ve always dreamed of!