Why Dental Checkups Are Crucial to Dental Health



It is estimated about 50% of American adults do not make it to the dentist for an annual check-up. This is often the result being afraid of the dentist, not having dental insurance, or even just a lack of caring. Unfortunately, if you are not having a check-up at least once per year, you are leaving yourself susceptible to a plethora of problems. Read on to learn why having an annual dental check-up is critical to your dental health.

Regular Check-Ups Help with Deep Cleaning

Even people who avoid candy and sugary drinks and who brush regularly can still have a buildup of tartar and plaque on their teeth, especially deep down in the crevices. When you go to the dentist, he or she will often deep clean your teeth by using a special tool designed to pick tartar and plaque out of the crevices of your teeth.

Annual Visits Prevent Future Problems and Expenses

In addition to being essential for deep cleaning, going to the visit annually can help spot potential problems before you end up in an emergency dentist visit because you are already in pain. Dentists perform an examination of your teeth, gums, tongue, and even your neck and throat during an annual check-up. This is to check for problem areas that can indicate gum or mouth disease, cancer of the mouth, tongue, and throat, and cavities. All of these problems can be treated once caught and the earlier you catch them, the easier (and more cheaply) they can be dealt with.

How Often You Should Visit the Dentist

By the age of two, your child should have visited the dentist at least once unless there is a dental issue that you need to bring to someone’s attention. From there, children and adults typically need to visit the dentist about once a year for a deep cleaning and a check-up.

While this annual schedule works for most, other people require a more frequent visiting schedule. If you have a history of cavities or heavy plaque build-up, are a smoker, or if you have conditions such as pregnancy, diabetes, or existing gum disease, you may need to visit more frequently. Speak to your oral hygienist to find out what the best check-up schedule is for your mouth.

Emergency Visits to the Dentist

Sometimes, problems will arise after your annual check-up that may dictate an emergency trip to the dentist. Here are some of the warning signs that indicate that you should get in to see someone in the near future.

You Experience New or Heavier Bleeding When Brushing

Sometimes, something as simple as brushing with the wrong toothbrush can cause bleeding. Other times, however, bleeding can be a sign of gum sensitivity or even early gingivitis. If you have new bleeding of the gums or if you notice bleeding that is heavier than it was at the time of your check-up, be sure to have the problem evaluated as soon as you can.

You Have New Sensitivity to Certain Foods

If you have a cavity or gum disease, one of the early warning signs can be pain when you eat certain foods. Foods that are too hot or cold and even sweets like candy and desserts can cause sharp pains that indicate a problem. If you do have this issue, make sure that you make a note of which foods cause it. Avoid the types of food that are causing your pain and be sure to tell your dentist what they are when you schedule for his or her next available appointment.

You Have Worsening Bad Breath

If you have noticed that your bad breath has worsened or that no matter how much you brush, it just won’t go away? If this is the case, you may want to bring it up to your dentist, soon. Worsening bad breath can be an indication of dry mouth, decreased saliva flow, and even active gum disease. These are all things that you want to catch sooner rather than later because they can worsen even after a week or two of being unmanaged.

The Role of Oral Hygienists in Your Health

If you haven’t learned yet from reading this article, your dentist plays quite a large role in your health. Not only do they vigilantly watch for things like mouth and throat cancer, oral hygienists remove plaque build-up that (when swallowed) can contribute to plaque build-up in the arteries around your heart. This means that whether you have insurance or not, or even if fear is holding you back, you need to find it within yourself to go to the dentist at least once per year. Once there, you can talk to your dentist about the dental checkup schedule that is best for you. If you’re one of those people that has put it off for too long, make an appointment with your local dentist today.