At first, you might feel suspicious if someone told you that going to the dentist more often is the best way to
1. Detect Cavities Early
If you have cavities, you’ll feel them right away, right? Wrong! Although it’s a common misconception, most people don’t feel tooth decay until it’s gotten larger. Then it usually requires more extensive treatment to fix, like a dental crown or root canal instead of a simple filling.
2. Get an Oral Cancer Screening
Did you know that dentists and hygienists both perform an oral cancer screening at every checkup? They visually examine all the soft tissues in the oral cavity looking for any suspicious lumps, bumps or lesions. As with all cancers, early detection is key.
3. Prevent Gum Disease
Gum disease is the #1 cause of tooth loss. And, like diabetes, it’s also a “silent disease,” so you don’t experience any pain until advanced stages.
At that point, the supportive structures around the teeth (i.e. the gums and underlying bone) have been damaged or lost, which can ultimately cause the teeth to become loose and fall out.
Unfortunately, gum disease has other consequences as well. Countless studies have found a link with all of the following conditions:
- Heart disease
- Pregnancy complications
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Some cancers
Thankfully, good oral hygiene habits and regular dental care can prevent gum disease. It can also be controlled with gum therapies, but these treatments are more effective in the early stages.
4. Get a Professional Cleaning
Good brushing and flossing is crucial to your oral health, but even if you’re doing well, you can’t remove hard, cement-like tartar deposits on your teeth and under your gumline.
Professional cleanings will thoroughly remove plaque, bacteria and tartar from these areas before they can contribute to cavities and gum disease.
5. Avoid Emergencies
If you have undiagnosed dental problems, your chances of having a dental emergency increase quite a bit. And it’s much easier to schedule dental work on your own time rather than deal with an emergency in the middle of the night, on vacation or during a busy work day!
Remember, when it comes to your oral health, prevention is key. And, along with good habits at home, regular checkups are the foundation of preventive care!
About the Author
Dr. William Carini has over 20 years of experience as a family dentist in Greenfield. He focuses on prevention first, so he always encourages his patients to come in every 6 months. His goal is to keep a close eye on his patients’ oral health so he can minimize the amount of dental work they need in the long-run. If you have any questions about routine dental care, he can be contacted via his website or at (414) 209-7463.