One reason why you need regular checkups is so the dental professionals can clean away plaque and tartar on your teeth. This not only makes your teeth look whiter and cleaner, but it also helps to prevent cavities in those hard-to-reach areas before it can develop into dental problems. The dental hygienists can also give you pointers on where you need to brush or floss more thoroughly as well, and direct you to other dental products, such as moth washes or rinses, that can help keep your mouth and teeth healthy.
Cleaning your teeth not only keeps your smile bright and healthy, but regular cleanings can eliminate embarrassing breath odors. Some studies indicate that 85 percent of people with chronic bad breath have problems due to an excess of harmful bacteria in their mouths. This bacteria can be cleaned away by a dental hygienist, which in turn will help keep your breath fresh. Having fresh breath will make you feel more confident in social situations as well as in more intimate moments.
The dentist also can identify and treat dental problems before they become irreparable or before they affect your overall health. For example, abscesses, or pockets of infection in the gums, can burst open and send bacteria coursing through your body. The resulting bacterial infection can even be fatal if it is left untreated. In addition to preventing the spread of infections, the dental staff can find and correct cavities before they ruin the tooth or cause significant pain. Dental professionals also look for other problems with the teeth such as chipped, cracked, or broken teeth, or gum disease. All of these conditions can become very serious if they are left untreated, but they are all treatable conditions when they are caught in their early stages.
The staff don’t just look for problems with the teeth and gums, however. They also check for other signs of illness, such as fungal infections like thrush and oral cancer. Oral cancer can begin as a small, red or white bump in the mouth and spread rapidly. You may not even be aware that you have oral cancer until a dentist identifies the bumps and calls for a biopsy. Your dental professional is trained to look for these diseases and, in many cases, to treat them.
If you haven’t already, schedule your next dental checkup today. Appointment times often fill quickly, so you may need to make an appointment for a regular checkup weeks or even months in advance. If you lack insurance, call the office before the appointment to inquire about payment plans or other payment arrangements. Many offices will work with patients on payments or co-payments.