The number of adolescents with cavities dropped from 50% to 43% between the span of four years. Why? For the most part, more people were scheduling regular dental checkups. Even so, many people still avoid scheduling an annual dentist visit. Taking the time to visit the dentist at least once a year can have a huge impact on your oral and overall health.
On the fence? Here are seven reasons you should schedule an annual dental checkup. After reading this guide, you can make a more informed decision with your oral health in mind. Keep reading to discover the seven benefits of routine dentist visits today.
1. Dodge Tooth Decay
Oral disease impacts about 3.5 billion people around the world. If you develop tooth decay, you might also experience:
- Gum disease
- Tooth loss
Instead of leaving yourself at risk of tooth decay, schedule your routine dentist visit. You can read more here to get started. Routine visits allow your dentist or hygienist to spot symptoms of tooth decay before serious problems can develop. In addition to assessing your oral health, your hygienist will also clean your teeth. They’ll clear away plaque on the surface of your teeth before it can harden into tartar.
Cleaning plaque build-up off the surface of your teeth could prevent tooth decay. Otherwise, the plaque can mix with bacteria to harden into tartar. Tartar is difficult to clean without help. You’ll need to visit a dentist regularly to remove tartar from your teeth. A routine dentist visit will help your hygienist recognize potential problem areas, too. They can provide you with oral care advice. With their help, you can treat minor problems before they get worse.
2. Avoid Gingivitis
Tooth decay is only one potential problem that can develop between visits. Remember, plaque can harden into tartar. When left untreated, the bacteria in your mouth will continue to spread.
It could even hide between your gums and teeth. Over time, bacteria can cause gum disease, or gingivitis. When left untreated, gingivitis can cause symptoms like:
- Tender gums
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gum lines
- Loose teeth
- Pain when chewing
- Unrelenting bad breath
- Sensitive teeth
The infection in your gums will only continue to spread without treatment. It could sneak below the gum line and affect your jaw bone. Without treatment, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis.
If you don’t treat periodontitis right away, your risk of certain conditions can arise. These health conditions include:
- Heart disease
Don’t put your overall health at risk. Instead, visit the dentist for your routine checkup. With routine checkups, you can identify signs of gingivitis before it develops into periodontitis. Otherwise, you’ll need a deep cleaning below your gum line.
Your dentist might suggest scaling or root planning to remove all signs of the infection. In some cases, you might even need surgery. A routine dentist visit can help you avoid surgery or expensive treatments.
3. Freshen Your Breath
One of the signs you’ve developed gingivitis is bad breath that doesn’t go away, even after brushing your teeth. If plaque and tartar are building up against your teeth, your breath might start to stink.
Bacteria will only continue to build up if you skip treatments. You could start to smell the sour odor that is your own breath as a result.
Instead, make sure to schedule a routine dental checkup. Your dental hygienist can clean away plaque and tartar, freshening your breath. Remember, you can’t clean tartar away on your own.
Scheduling a routine cleaning can minimize plaque on the surface of your teeth. You can keep tartar at bay before it gets the chance to form.
4. Cancer Screenings
Over 53,000 Americans were diagnosed within a single year. Visit a dentist regularly to screen for oral cancer. Regular screenings can ensure an early diagnosis.
Otherwise, symptoms can include:
- Weight loss
- Bleeding in the mouth
- Difficulty swallowing, speaking, or chewing
- Soreness in the back of the throat
- Ear pain
- White, red, or speckled patches in your mouth
- A change in the way your teeth fit together
- A change in your voice
- Sore throat
- Swelling, lumps, or bumps in your mouth
Let your dentist know if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms. Early diagnosis can ensure early treatment.
5. Bright Smiles
Take a look at the state of your teeth in the mirror. Are your teeth beginning to look dull, discolored, or yellow? If you’re a tea or coffee drinker, you could notice discoloration. Drinking wine and smoking can cause yellowing, too. It’s important to schedule a regular dental checkup to manage these stains. Otherwise, the yellowing will only get worse over time. You might need more extensive treatment to improve the appearance of your smile.
You can schedule a consultation appointment to review your options. In addition to whitening treatment, you might also consider veneers. Perhaps you’re worried your teeth don’t appear as straight as they once did. In that case, you can talk to your dentist about orthodontic treatment. For example, you can consider Invisalign or ceramic braces. Your dentist can develop a customized treatment plan based on your goals.
6. Catch Mistakes
You might not realize you’re making costly mistakes with your oral health care until it’s too late.
For example, you could brush your teeth wrong. Perhaps you’re not switching your brushes often enough. Some patients use the wrong technique when flossing, too. If your gums tend to bleed, it’s possible you’re brushing too hard.
Brushing too hard could wear down your protective tooth enamel. Some patients develop cavities easier than others as well. Visit the dentist and talk about your at-home care. Your dentist can evaluate your current habits and let you know what’s wrong. They can catch these mistakes before they cause problems down the road.
Stunning, Healthy Smiles: 6 Reasons to Visit the Dentist Once a Year
Don’t wait to visit the dentist. Instead, make sure to schedule an annual dental checkup. Regular appointments can help you improve your oral health. Taking care of your teeth can benefit your overall health, too. Ready for your next appointment?