The American Dental recommends seeing your dentists for regular checkups, but I admit that not many of us are thrilled to visit a dentist. I am not a dentist, so I am in no position to command or write as a licensed dental practitioner. Therefore, your dentist overrules this article. This article is a perspective from a patient’s point of view, just like you. Skipping regular visits seems to be no big deal, especially during this pandemic, but this is even more reason to visit your dentist regularly.
So why you should visit your dentist regularly? It’s a no-brainer that longevity and life expectancy can depend on the health of your teeth, not to mention the quality of life or socioeconomic status. For instance, if your teeth are sore when biting an apple, you obviously tend to eat fewer apples, and may just avoid them altogether. Furthermore, doughnuts or sweet canned fruits, on the other hand, may not bother your teeth as much as fresh fruits and vegetables, so you become much more comfortable eating them. In other words, you tend to eat more of the foods that don’t hurt your teeth.
True, you can take vitamins to supplement your body’s nutritional needs. How about fibers or other vital nutrition that you absorb by eating fresh foods? Don’t you think our general health is somewhat compromised by not eating all of those “good for you” foods? What about your dental health? Your previous visit to your dentist indicated that everything was fine. Is it?
Why not visit your dentist regularly to check the health of your teeth? In addition, your dentist will examine the health of your gums, tissues, your chewing habit, cavity, decay, potential cancer development, and other health complications.
Our teeth are amazing! Think of what they can do to make your life easier, sort of MacGyver in time of a perfect emergency. Not only do we use them to eat, some use them to bite fingernails, to open potato chip bags, to break a thread from your clothes, to hold something when your ten fingers are busy, and yup, one of those annoying habits, chewing the ice when drinking water or soft drinks.
When we were growing up, our parents, among many other things, told us that preventive measurements are the best. When we got our first car, again, your father may have nagged you about how to prevent the expensive cost of repairs by maintaining your vehicle regularly. For example, change your engine oil regularly to maintain the longevity of the engine, or rotate your tires regularly so that they don’t have to pay for your four new ones unnecessarily.
Believe it or not, our body dictates the same maintenance, especially regarding our teeth. This is not high maintenance per se. That is to say, if you visit your dentist regularly it doesn’t hurt; on the contrary, it may eliminate an expensive or non-reversible type of damage to your teeth.
Do Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Here is another example. Instead of one car that you maintain, think of it as 28 teeth to maintain, given that your wisdom teeth are extracted. Seriously, will you still skip visits? Here is another scenario. You already know that you have a cavity in one of your 28 teeth, so eventually, you think you will need a crown. You decide to skip your visit to the dental office, thinking you will have a new crown done anyway. The scarier part comes when the terrifying word “root canal” is mentioned.
This is another significant expense that you could have easily avoided had you not missed your last dental appointment. In fact, you are lucky if you don’t need to get a dental implant, which can cost you at least five grand per single tooth. Don’t forget, you are blessed with 28 precious teeth.
My List of the Best 10 Reasons to Visit Your Dentist Regularly
I was tempted to title this article 28 reasons, one for each tooth. I’m glad that I didn’t do that. Instead, I came up with a list of the top 10 reasons to visit your dentist regularly, which I will not elaborate on since I am not a medical professional, but you get the point.
1. Cavities and decay are not readily visible to us.
You might think that early signs and symptoms of cavities are hot/cold sensitivity, random and spontaneous pain, or irritation in the affected tooth. These are not early, but maybe too late signs of detecting a cavity.
2. See your dental hygienist twice a year.
Your teeth are an asset for your life, and just because they look and feel healthy, it doesn’t mean that they are. Your dental hygienist will be able to detect problems that you simply cannot.
3. Even though you are young and healthy, early preventive measures are necessary.
No one can deny that early preventive measures can help you heal faster and prevent an issue from becoming extremely complicated. We might think that brushing, flossing, and mouthwash are enough. These are critically important, but they do not always prevent disease or discomfort. This cannot be overemphasized, as most of the early signs of dental problems are silent and don’t cause any pain.
Bacteria in the mouth can thrive in a perfectly moist and warm environment. They can accumulate over time, feed on the food we eat, and form plaque that erodes tooth surfaces. Cavities are also very silent and only hurt when they are close to the nerve endings. If you visit your dentist regularly, your dentist will see it and fix it efficiently.
4. If people close to you tell you that you have bad breath.
Let’s be honest here, bad breath is extremely embarrassing, and we always put extra effort to get rid of it by thoroughly brushing our teeth, scrapping our tongues, and using mouth wash. Little do we know what the root cause of the problem may be.
5. Regular checkups of your fillings, prosthetic crowns, or implants
Prosthetic crowns or implants are incredible because your tooth doesn’t grow back unless you are one of those characters in a mutant movie. However, maintaining these pros can be challenging or may not even be possible without an x-ray examination. Visit your dentist regularly to follow up.
The placement of a crown is a complicated procedure. It requires timely post-op follow up to check if dentin beneath the crown is not developing cavities or decay. Typically, well-treated dental prosthetics, for example, crowns and bridges, should last for many years.
Implants are very complex dental procedures and need to be checked regularly. Usually, a dental implant is composed of a fixture, abutment placed by a titanium screw, and implant crown. Failure of dental implants is not uncommon. Therefore, visit your dentist regularly to prevent the loss of dental implant fixtures.
6. To detect early signs of oral cancer or other gum diseases
Apart from cavities and alignment, a dentist will also examine the health of your tongue and any problems with your gums. He or she will be able to detect oral cancer, infections in the gums, or any disorders that can complicate your condition. Detecting these health hazards will save you a lot of money, not to mention your health, and may save your life.
7. Healthy Smile
“Man’s best friend,” the dog, has a tail to wag. Humans have a smile. Too often, we judge a person by his or her smile. In fact, the first impression of a person can heavily depend on the smile. It could mean that person is friendly or rude or could affect their lifestyle and socioeconomic status.
Are you limiting your smile because of your teeth? If so, your dentist can help you. Think about those celebrities with big and bright smiles. Their job is to impress the public and their fans. Therefore, their smiles and their teeth are of utmost importance. You don’t have to spend that much money to have a friendly, healthy smile. Your natural teeth are just as beautiful if they are maintained well. Even though we have 28 of them, one missing tooth can be too conspicuous when you smile and impact your lifestyle. Therefore, every tooth is important to maintain.
8. If you have pre-existing medical conditions
We all know how medical conditions affect our body’s health, and unfortunately, they do not discriminate against your teeth. Some medical conditions may or may not be reflected in your oral health. Your dentist is trained to examine them. Surprisingly, there can be many medical conditions, including oral cancer. A dentist with special training may be able to indicate the earliest signs thorough oral examinations or refer you to a specialist. Don’t take chances, since your teeth are much more valuable than you think!
9. Pregnancy – visit your dentist regularly
Pregnancy is a heavenly blessing to humanity. Many women might delay dental visits during pregnancy. However, it can be especially crucial to visit your dentist regularly, even during pregnancy. Again, let your dentist know that there is another important soon-to-be patient in your womb. Obviously, you would periodically check with your OB-GYN, but you may want to add a dentist to your visit list. Although some dental procedures, for example, cosmetic veneers, can wait until the addition of your new family member, some may not. Visit your dentist regularly, even during your pregnancy.
10. If you like eating fast foods or junk foods, you should visit your dentist more often
Finally, sugar and acidic foods are not your friends to your teeth. In fact, your cavities love them; they are their best friend. I am not a doctor so I am not suggesting that you stop eating foods you love, other than for health reasons. Just be sure to visit your dentist regularly.
In conclusion, dentists have a very important role in the well-being of our lives. Like all other parts of the body, our teeth are of significant importance, and they require care, cleaning, and maintenance for a lifetime. Unfortunately, small delays in regular visits can cause severe and consequential complications, and trust me; no one wants that to happen.
We all avoid dental visits just because we are not having any pain, sensitivity, or discomfort. Little do we know why we need to visit our dentist regularly. Often we hear painful and unpleasant stories that keep us away from them. But regular visits to the dentist from an early age can be quite helpful in building the trust between you and your dentist.