When you were younger, you probably made regular trips to the dentist with the help of your parents. As you’ve gotten older, those trips have likely come less and less often; you find yourself scratching your head trying to remember the last time you were in a dentist’s chair. No matter if you have dental insurance or not, getting back into the habit of utilizing professional help to tend to your oral health is essential for several reasons.
Take Care of Cavities
Cavities often work their way into your teeth before you realize it, making you think your teeth are perfectly fine when you have a minor problem brewing under the surface. By regularly visiting the dentist, you can get a warning as to any cavities that may be causing decay in your mouth. That warning can not only save your teeth but prevent the need for a more extreme treatment, like a root canal.
Saving money is another reason to visit well-regarded dentists like Boston’s Dr. George Hatzigiannis. A simple filling or cleaning is bound to be less expensive than a deep cleaning or the root canal mentioned above. Something else to think about is that procedures like root canals often call for crowns, which inflate the cost of your dental care. You don’t want to learn that you could have saved hundreds or even thousands of dollars had you kept up with your checkups and visited the dentist even when you felt your teeth were perfectly fine.
Maintain Your Smile for as Long as Possible
Even though dentures and dental implants have come a long way in regards to appearance and utility, there’s nothing like having your original smile and teeth. Your dentist can help you keep as many of your original teeth as possible well into your elderly years, which can save you a lot of embarrassment.
On a related note, having all your original teeth, or at least quality replacement teeth, lets you maintain your jaw structure. Missing teeth that aren’t replaced cause your jawline to weaken over time, giving your features an aged appearance. You can essentially think of your teeth as weights that keep your jaw muscles buff.
Avoid Oral Cancer
Dentists know the signs of oral cancer, such as dead tissue in your mouth caused by the formation of tumors, and they can help you spot signs of cancer during your checkup. Just like with cavities, you may think your oral health is fine when in reality, you could need a specific treatment. One thing to bear in mind with oral cancer is it’s often easily treated as long as it’s caught in the early stages. Give yourself one less thing to worry about by visiting your dentist every six months.
Check Bad Oral Health Habits
While it’s common knowledge that smoking is bad for your teeth and oral health in general, you may be engaging in a number of other practices that are harmful to your teeth. For instance, chewing ice can damage your teeth, and the same applies to grinding your teeth and biting your nails. Rather than continue these bad habits for years without realizing how harmful they can be, your doctor can inform you of just how much damage you’re doing to your teeth. When your dentist asks you questions about your habits, be completely honest, no matter how embarrassed you may feel. Always remember that your dentist is there to help you rather than judge you; you can’t get the help you need if you aren’t honest.
Treat Any Gum Disease You Have
Besides oral cancer and cavities, you also have to be aware of the dangers of gum disease. Brushing and using mouthwash aren’t always enough to get rid of all the plaque and tartar on your teeth. Tartar and plaque can work their way into the gums and cause them to pull away from the teeth. You may notice that your gums bleed when you brush your teeth, or that your mouth is sometimes sore. These are both symptoms of gum disease, which can be treated with extra deep cleanings, surgery, and medication. Rather than explore all these options yourself, visit your dentist to keep as much tartar and plaque off your teeth and gums as possible.
Check Your Lymph, Head and Neck Nodes
Swelling and lumps in your head, neck and lymph nodes could be a sign of a health issue that needs to be treated. Your dentist will check those nodes while taking a close look at the inside of your mouth. The reason you need to regularly visit your dentist to have your nodes checked is that you may not notice anything wrong with your nodes. If there is an issue and your dentist catches it in time, you could avoid serious diseases and even cancer.
Go ahead and find a dentist in your area whom you like and trust to help you remain in great oral health. Before you put off scheduling a checkup, be sure to think on the topics touched on above. Let your dentist help give you another reason to smile.