We are all busy people. On top of everything else, is it really important that you go to the dentist twice a year for regular checkups? Especially if you’re already brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, rinsing with mouthwash occasionally and getting your teeth cleaned annually? Is it really necessary to see your dentist every six months too? In a word: Yes. Stick around and we’ll explain why.
Regular checkups will help your dentist detect oral cancer early
Oral cancers kill thousands of Canadians every year. If not detected until it has spread beyond your mouth, oral cancer is very difficult to treat. When detected early, though, there are more treatment options available and five-year survival rates are much higher. A dentist near you will screen you for early indications of oral cancer, including by using a VELscope screening device to illuminate irregular tissues that may indicate the presence of cancer. If irregular tissues are disclosed, your dentist will support you in obtaining appropriate medical advice and treatment.
Regular checkups might mean you won’t need fillings
Brushing and flossing removes a lot of plaque from your teeth and gums, but there is often plaque left behind in hard to reach areas. Over time, that accumulating plaque turns to tartar which is impossible to remove without specialized dental tools. Unless removed, that tartar will contribute to erosion of your teeth and the formation of holes in your enamel — in a word, cavities, that will need to be filled with fillings. At every checkup, your dentist and their staff will remove any and all plaque and tartar they can find.
Regular checkups will protect you from gum disease
Cavities aren’t the only consequence of plaque and tartar buildup in your mouth. Gum disease in the form of gingivitis and periodontitis are two more serious complications that can arise. In addition to bleeding, swelling, and pain affecting your teeth, advanced gum disease can cause loose and even lost teeth.
Regular checkups help your dentist get your bad habits under control
Many of us have bad habits that we don’t realize might have serious consequences for the health of our teeth and gums. Unless you see your dentist every six months for regular checkups, you may have no idea that you are damaging your teeth by clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth, chewing ice and biting your fingernails, eating certain snacks, brushing too vigorously, smoking, and drinking certain beverages. When it comes to habits like smoking, your dentist may even be able to help you to quit.
At regular checkups, your dentist will take a look beneath the surface
Your dentist may take dental x-rays and images to reveal what is happening within your jaw. There are several dental health conditions that can only be seen in x-rays until they have become much more advanced and potentially require complex, invasive and expensive treatment. X-rays taken at regular dental checkups in Yellowknife can reveal early indications of impacted wisdom teeth, bone decay, swelling, tumours, and cysts. X-ray machines are just one example of equipment available to a dental clinic in Yellowknife that you might not have available at home. Unless you’re about to graduate from dental school and to invest in essential preventative dentistry resources, you’re best off to see your dentist every six months.
Attending regular dental checkups near you is essential to the health of your teeth and gums, but that’s not all. Seeing a dentist near you regularly is also an excellent way to preserve your general health and to reduce the need for potentially invasive and expensive treatment.