The American Dental Association recommends visiting your dental office every six months. Busy lives and minor dental anxiety can cause many people to wonder if it is really necessary to visit the dentist frequently. If they are not currently experiencing noticeable symptoms of any kind, this often leads to them missing appointments.
The fact of the matter is that, yes, it is necessary to visit your dentist every six months. Once every six months, your dentist will perform a dental cleaning and consultation. Dental x-rays may also be taken. Dental x-rays and oral exams evaluate your oral health, dental cleanings maintain it, and consultations allow you to speak with the dentist about oral health concerns.
While all three have their individual benefits, it goes without saying that they are highly important. There are many reasons why you should have regular dental cleanings and consultations. Here are the top five:
Reason #1: Prevent tooth decay and gum disease
This is probably one of the biggest reasons to visit your dentist regularly. General dentists are dedicated to preventative treatments and do their best to help you maintain your oral health. Dental consultations enable them to closely monitor your oral health for any early symptoms that may not be noticeable to you. Dental cleanings allow your dentist to remove plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth, which reduces the amount of harmful bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Both these measures help to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
Reason #2: Save You Time & Money
Since regular dental consultations allow your dentist to closely monitor your oral health for early symptoms, this means that most dental issues are identified early-on. As a result, they can be treated with minimal intervention. For you, this means less time spent in the dental chair and more money in your pocket. As an added bonus, early treatment often means better treatment outcomes.
Reason #3: Minimally-Invasive Treatments
Another perk of regular dental appointments is that when an issue is identified in the early stages, the treatments are less invasive. For example, when tooth decay occurs, it is easier and less invasive to have a dental filling rather than a root canal. As mentioned above, it is also cheaper and faster to have the former. Regular dental care reduces your risk of needing a root canal or other more invasive dental treatments.
Reason #4: Oral Cancer Screening
Many people do not realize that during your dental exam, your dentist will perform a brief oral cancer screening. Currently, oral cancer is on the rise in America. As with most medical conditions, early identification generally means better treatment outcomes. During an oral cancer screening, your dentist will evaluate the soft tissues in your mouth for any inconsistencies in color, size, or texture that could indicate the presence of oral cancer. For more information about oral cancer, see “What is Oral Cancer?”
Reason #5: Allow You to Learn About Your Overall Health
During your dental consultation, your dentist will ask about your medical history and list of current medications. This is because your oral and overall health are closely related and learning about one can help learn about the other. In fact, certain medical conditions can affect your oral health and vice versa. Discussing these things will help you alter your oral hygiene habits accordingly.
As you can see, there are some very important reasons for regular dental cleanings and consultations. You may want to consider these reasons the next time you think about skipping your dental appointment. Even though your teeth may look healthy, the only way to confirm this is to visit your dentist every six months.