According to the American Dental Association, it is recommended to visit your dentist twice a year for a dental checkup and cleaning. At first, this may seem like a lot, especially since most people only visit their doctor once a year for their annual physical. Many people also think that as long as their teeth are fine, there is no reason to see their dentist this often. However, dental checkups are extremely important to your oral health for many reasons. In fact, here are five reasons why you need a dental checkup:
Helps Prevent Tooth Decay and Gum Disease
One main reason why dental checkups are so important to your oral health is because they allow your dentist to examine your mouth for signs of tooth decay and gum disease. During a dental checkup, your dentist will carefully examine each tooth for signs of cavities or demineralization, which is the first sign that a cavity will form. Your dentist will also examine your gums and measure your gum pockets to see if there is any early evidence of gum disease. Afterwards, your dentist will have their hygienist perform a professional teeth cleaning to remove excess plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth and along the gum line. These regular cleanings decrease the amount of bacteria in your mouth, as well as your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease.
Maximizes Your Oral Hygiene Routine
Another reason why you need a dental checkup is because your dentist and their hygienist will provide you with valuable information on how to maximize your daily oral hygiene routine. For example, if you are using the wrong type of toothbrush, they can make recommendations on a better toothbrush that won’t damage your enamel. They can also help make sure you are using the proper brushing and flossing techniques in order to remove as much plaque as possible while not harming your enamel or gums. Maximizing your daily oral hygiene routine also helps to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
Screens for Oral Cancer
It is an unfortunate fact that oral cancer cases are on the rise. Oral cancer can affect any structure within or around the mouth, including the lips, gums, inner cheeks, tongue, hard and soft palates, or pharynx. Since oral cancer generally has good treatment outcomes when identified in the early stages, many dentists now perform oral cancer screenings during regular checkups. These screenings look for potential signs of oral cancer such as discrepancies in the color and/or texture of the soft tissues in or around the mouth. Although your dentist cannot diagnose oral cancer, they can refer you elsewhere to be diagnosed and treated.
Identifies Problems Before They Become Problematic
By now, you may have realized that preventing tooth decay and gum disease, maximizing your oral hygiene routine, and screening for oral cancer are all methods of identifying problems before they have a chance to actually become problematic. In fact, this is one of the most valuable reasons why you need a dental checkup. Regular dental checkups allow your dentist to notice potential problems in their earliest stages. In some cases, your dentist may be able to reverse the damage before it can develop into a problem. In other cases, your dentist may still need to treat the problem, however it will be significantly less invasive. For example, remineralizing tooth enamel can prevent the formation of a cavity, while early tooth decay can be treated with a composite filling instead of needing a root canal and dental crown.
Saves You Money
Finally, dental checkups save you money. This is partially because they prevent dental problems and partially because they identify problems in the early stages. Preventing dental problems means there is no need for treatment, nor is there any additional cost. Even in cases where minor treatment is needed, minor dental treatments are less costly than more involved procedures. Not to mention that saving money can also help you save your teeth, which is priceless.
Dr. Sadati possesses extensive experience in all aspects of advanced restorative dentistry, with an emphasis in cosmetic and implant dentistry. He has attained Accredited Fellow status in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), the most rigorous, demanding credentialing process in the world. He is the only AACD Accredited Fellow in South Florida.