Considering skipping your next dental appointment? Here we tell you why it is not a good idea and how visiting the dentist on a regular basis benefits you.
Last update: February 20, 2022
Going to the dental office can mean an unpleasant moment, of tension, nerves or even fear for some people. And while most treatments performed in the mouth are not complicated or painful, many people do not like to visit the dentist.
Skipping appointments or finding excuses to put them off may not seem like a problem. But the truth is that there are many alterations that develop in the mouth in a short time.
Visiting the dentist on a regular basis not only helps to have healthy teeth and a beautiful smile. It also allows you to take care of your general health, prevent complications and avoid more complicated and expensive approaches.
What’s more, It helps to gain trust with the professional. In this way the consultations will be more and more pleasant and the fear and insecurity will disappear. There are several benefits of visiting the dentist regularly. Keep reading and discover them.
How often do you have to visit the dentist?
How often to visit the dentist depends on the person’s risk of certain oral diseases. Among these determinants is the age of the patient.
In the case of children, it is recommended to visit the pediatric dentist with the eruption of the first tooth or before the first birthday. And then continue with controls every 6 months or as directed by the professional.
In childhood it is necessary to evaluate oral growth, eruption and turnover of teeth, oral habits and oral health care. Also, caries risk is often high, so semi-annual appointments They allow any problem to be detected in time. Although the dentist may prefer to do it every 3 or 4 months.
In young people and adults, the suggested frequency of visits is also every 6 months. Or at least once a year. In cases where there is a high risk of caries, gingivitis or the accumulation of a lot of tartar, the professional may suggest more frequent controls.
In specific treatments, such as orthodontics or implant placement, more frequent visits will be necessary. Controlling the evolution of the therapy and making corrections or interventions is vital for the success of the procedure.
What should I expect when visiting the dentist?
In routine visits to the dentist, the professional will start with some questions about the state of health during the last months. In the event that it is the first consultation, a more complete medical file will be filled out. the dentist inquire about all pertinent medical situations for dental care.
Then the dentist proceeds to perform a comprehensive oral examination. At that time he will carefully review each of the pieces, the bite and the soft tissues such as the tongue, cheeks, palate, floor of the mouth and gums.
The dentist also checks the jaw, neck, and lymph nodes under the jawbone, looking for lumps, swelling, or abnormalities. He will also take x-rays to see what is happening inside the tissues.
After this, if necessary, he will perform a dental cleaning. With the use of some specific instruments and special pastes, the remains of bacterial plaque and tartar that have accumulated are removed. In addition, the patient’s oral hygiene is evaluated and relevant advice is given to maintain oral health.
In the event that specific interventions are necessary, the treatment plan is exposed and the next appointments are set to carry them out. This will schedule the fillings, endodontics, extractions or prosthetic or orthodontic treatments that are necessary.
Now that you know what to expect from visits to the dentist, we tell you about the benefits of doing it regularly.
1. Early detection of oral pathologies
In routine check-ups, the dentist can detect any abnormality that occurs in the mouth. This makes it possible to diagnose common problems such as cavities, gingivitis and pyorrhea; or more serious, such as oral cancer.
This is how it works immediately and more complex and invasive treatments are avoided. If visits to the dentist are postponed, oral pathologies progress. And the therapies to reverse them will be more complicated.
For example, going to the dentist on a regular basis allows you to detect and treat cavities earlier, by performing a simple filling. On the other hand, if the disease progresses without being diagnosed, then root canals, the placement of a crown and even the extraction of the tooth will be necessary.
Routine radiographic examinations allow detecting any abnormality that develops within the bone or below the oral tissues. This includes impacted or impacted teeth, bone loss or tumors, and cysts.
Regarding oral cancer, you should know that It is a very serious disease that manifests itself in various ways. Many times only the dentist is able to detect abnormalities in the tissues that may be the beginning of the pathology.
Acting early improves the prognosis. Well, an early diagnosis allows the patient to be referred to receive specialized care.
2. Oral health care advice
Many times people do not have enough information or know the proper way to perform proper dental hygiene. They think that brushing their teeth a couple of times a day is enough.
But neglect of the mouth can lead to the appearance of problems that can be prevented. By visiting the dentist on a regular basis, the professional is responsible for teaching and reinforcing the appropriate measures to keep the mouth healthy.
Thus, in dental check-ups, the patient learns to brush their teeth correctly and use dental floss. In addition, you receive instructions on the most appropriate paste for your mouth and if it is necessary to use mouthwashes.
The use of plaque revealers in the office is often a common practice that allows patients to visualize the areas where residues accumulate. A) Yes they can understand where they need to step up the cleanup.
The dentist will also provide advice regarding diet. Eating healthy and avoiding ultra-processed foods, with a high sugar content or very acidic, helps to take care of your teeth.
3. Correction of bad habits
Some habits, even those we do unconsciously, can be detrimental to oral health. Visiting the dentist periodically allows us to detect these harmful habits and the damage they cause.
Prolonged use of a pacifier or bottle, thumb sucking, mouth breathing or atypical swallowing are some examples of harmful habits during childhood. Detecting and treating them early helps prevent malocclusions.
Bruxism is a common habit in adulthood that, if it is not braked in time, it causes excessive wear of the teeth and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems. Dental sensitivity and headaches and neck pain are usually the symptoms that accompany this ailment.
Chewing ice, biting nails or other objects, frequently eating hard or sticky sweets, brushing teeth with great force are also harmful activities. In addition, smoking and regularly drinking alcoholic beverages or coffee have harmful effects.
4. Improve rest
Visiting the dentist on a regular basis also improves sleep. On the one hand, toothache can be a reason for sleepless nights. And with a lot of discomfort and desperation, by the way.
Likewise, problems such as bruxism and sleep apnea also make it difficult to sleep. The dentist can detect these problems and find solutions that, among other benefits, will improve rest.
5. Avoid health problems
Oral diseases and pathologies originating in other parts of the body are manifested in the oral cavity. The dentist is able to differentiate the symptoms to arrive at the diagnosis or collaborate with the doctor.
Some diseases of the mouth can affect the general health of people. Periodontitis, for example, increases the risk of the following:
Complications during pregnancy.
Toothache or tooth loss affects people’s diet. This can cause digestive problems.
On the other hand, oral manifestations of systemic diseases can be detected by the dentist at regular checkups. Finding signs of eating disorders, osteoporosis and even some types of cancer allows the patient to be referred to the indicated specialist.
6. Increase self-esteem
A healthy and beautiful mouth is one of the best letters of introduction. Being able to feel comfortable with the appearance of the mouth helps people gain confidence and security when interacting with others.
Visiting the dentist on a regular basis helps to keep the mouth in good condition and improve its appearance. Professional cleaning removes tartar and surface stains.
It is also possible to solve uncomfortable problems such as bad breath. And in the case of crooked teeth and bite problems, orthodontics is a solution.
7. Set an example for children
If children see their parents confidently visit their dentist regularly, they will learn from it. Therefore, regular appointments are an example for the little ones.
From a young age they will be able to understand the importance of caring for oral health and the role of the dentist in this task. In addition, it will improve the child’s acceptance of visits to the dentist and encourage the early incorporation of healthy habits.
8. Improve the relationship with the dentist
Trusting the person who will have us in the armchair with their mouths open accessing this sensitive area of the body is essential for pleasant visits. Visit the dentist frequently is key to generating this relationship of trust.
Visiting the dental office helps to get to know the professional. In addition, it allows the dentist to also understand the patient’s fears, insecurities and expectations.
Understanding how the professional works, talking about doubts and fears, discussing treatments and oral care helps to generate a good dentist-patient relationship. In this way, the desired trust is achieved, reducing anxiety and facilitating treatments.
9. Save money
The need for dental treatment is less likely in healthy and cared for mouths. Therefore, visit the dentist on a regular basis. allows you to take care of your oral health and save money.
Routine consultations are not very expensive. As we already told you, they bring many benefits. On the other hand, treating a neglected mouth with advanced pathologies requires more expensive approaches. In addition to being more uncomfortable and invasive.
The dentist: a great ally
Having a healthy mouth allows us to eat, speak and smile without hindrance. This improves mood and quality of life of people.
Therefore, oral health should not be taken lightly. Finding a dentist you trust and visiting regularly is essential to keeping your mouth healthy.
The dentist is a great ally. Therefore, remember this article if you are thinking of skipping a dental checkup. Your decision not only affects your health and well-being, but also your pocket and your peace of mind.
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About The Author
Catherine A. Johnson