Preventative care is the single most important factor in maintaining healthy teeth and gums—and yet it’s the aspect of dental care that most people tend to neglect. It’s a lot easier to prevent problems with your teeth than to treat them, but regular dental check ups seem to get missed among all the other family obligations throughout every year.
If you’re having trouble committing to a thorough dental care regime, it pays to remember the reasons why you should have check ups every 6 months. Good dentists know that it’s in the best interests of their patients to provide preventative care: apart from the freshness and aesthetic benefits of a regular cleaning, preventative care also helps to strengthen the teeth, reduce the chance of decay, and even prevent bad breath. It could save you a lot of time and pain down the track—as well as a lot of money.
Thorough assessments give valuable information
When you visit your dentist for a check up, they don’t just examine your teeth and gums.
You might have an x-ray to look for signs of decay or functional problems that are brewing below the surface. Your dentist will also look at your oral mucosa, throat, and head and neck to see how good the movement and function is, and to make sure there are no signs of other medical issues and disease.
Some medical issues cause symptoms in your mouth, even issues that you can’t notice but your dentist can identify. Your mouth may show evidence of some oral cancers, and medical issues like diabetes and vitamin deficiency—and your dentist could be the only one with any reason to look in your mouth. It might seem incredible, but there are many people who have had a chance to treat illnesses live a healthier life simply because they went to their 6-monthly dental check up.
Regular cleans prevent decay
The most obvious reason to have your dental check up is the thorough clean that your dentist will conduct after examining your teeth.
Your dentist or hygienist will remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and gums, before flossing and polishing your teeth, and finishing with a fluoride treatment to help fortify your teeth against decay.
This process of cleaning removes the bacteria and particles of food that stick between your teeth and cause decay. While it obviously prevents your teeth from rotting, it has other benefits—it removes the bacteria that cause bad smells so you’ll likely have much fresher breath, and it removes a lot of the staining that accumulates on your teeth every day, so they’ll often look significantly whiter and brighter without any whitening treatments.
Dentists give useful education
Getting the best results from your dental care—and getting the longest life possible out of your teeth—also depends on what you do between visits.
Preventative care also involves education, and during your regular check ups your dentist can provide you with information specific to your individual needs for maintaining your dental health at home.
This education could involve the kind of toothbrushes and toothpastes you should use, how best to clean your teeth or what regime to follow, and what foods are good or bad for your teeth. Your dentist might also have access to new information in the industry that they can share to help you better manage any genetic and lifestyle factors that affect your dental health. While you will find a lot of information online about dental care, there’s no substitute for the tailored expert advice you’ll get at your teeth check up.
Check ups save money down the track
Many people don’t understand that going to the dentist doesn’t have to be a challenging experience.
Regular check ups are preventative care; they prevent major issues from developing, so you don’t end up needing to have extensive procedures done. Besides eliminating the need for you to endure pain or cosmetic problems with your teeth, dental check ups also have another, largely overlooked, benefit: they save you money.
Major dental procedures can be quite expensive, so it’s best if you never need to have them. The longer you leave your dental problems, the worse they’ll get, and the more complicated the procedure you’ll need to fix them—a small cavity can turn into an expensive and painful root canal treatment if you let it, but if you’re attending your regular 6-monthly visits, your dentist will treat it easily and quickly and for a fraction of the cost.
Tailored care needs ongoing monitoring
For your dentist to make the best decisions about your dental health, and deliver you the highest standard of dental care, they need to monitor how your teeth are changing or responding to treatment.
When you attend your check up, your dentist will compare how your teeth look with photographs, x-rays or information they obtained on previous visits. This is important for determining how your dental needs have changed: whether a new medication is causing staining on your teeth, or your teeth have moved out of alignment, or a cavity or crack is worsening. Regular check ups also help your dentist to monitor the effectiveness of treatments they’ve administered, and see whether they need to change your dental regime to better suit your needs.
Getting the best preventative dental care depends on finding the right dentist: Hamilton residents will find the best professionals at the premier Hamilton dental surgery, Hamilton Dental and Specialist Suites. We’re focused on preventative care, and we’re committed to supporting all our clients to improve their dental health with reputable treatments and comprehensive education at their 6-monthly teeth check up. Hamilton Dental and Specialist Suites’ dentists also provide the latest innovations in teeth whitening—Hamilton residents can contact us anytime to find out how we can help to achieve brighter and whiter smiles, and we’ll be happy to help.