5 Reasons You Need a Dental Exam
Despite the popular belief that you only need to visit the dentist if you are having tooth problems, it is actually recommended by the American Dental Association that you visit your dentist twice a year for dental checkups. There are many reasons why regular dental checkups are necessary. Here are five of them:
Prevents Tooth Decay and Gum Disease
The first reason why you need a dental checkup is because regular checkups help to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. This is because your dentist carefully examines both your teeth and gums for signs of these problems. Depending on what they find, they may make certain recommendations to prevent these problems. They will also perform a dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth in order to decrease the risk of both tooth decay and gum disease.
Improves Your Daily Oral Hygiene
Another reason why you need a dental checkup is because having a dental checkup lets your dentist evaluate your daily oral hygiene technique. By simply evaluating your teeth and gums, your dentist can identify whether or not your oral hygiene routine is effective. They can also help you correct certain common mistakes, such as brushing too hard or irritating your gums with dental floss. Overall, this helps you to improve your daily oral hygiene routine, which also helps to decrease the risk of developing dental issues.
Screens for Oral Cancer
Oral cancer can affect your lips, tongue, gums, inner cheeks, hard or soft palates, or pharynx. Like other types of cancer, oral cancer has better treatment outcomes when diagnosed in the early stages. Although your dentist cannot diagnose oral cancer, they can perform screenings for changes in the texture or color of soft tissues that could indicate oral cancer. They can then make recommendations about seeing your primary care provider for further testing and possible treatment. Many people don’t even realize that their dentist screens them for oral cancer, however it is one of the most important reasons why you need a dental checkup.
Identifies Potential Problems Early
Besides detecting potential cases of oral cancer early on, dental checkups also allow your dentist to detect other oral health problems in their earliest stages. In some cases, this can allow your dentist to also reverse the damage before it can develop into a problem. For example, tooth enamel demineralizes before a cavity starts to form. When caught in the demineralizing stage, your dentist can remineralize the enamel in order to prevent cavity formation. Although not all dental problems can be reversed when caught early, early detection still allows them to be effectively treated with less invasive procedures.
Saves You Money
Not only will your mouth thank you for dental checkups that prevent the need for invasive dental treatments, but your wallet will thank you as well. This is because dental problems caught early are easier to treat and cost less than more invasive procedures. Using the above example, fluoride treatments, or even the cost of a composite filling, is much more affordable than paying for the cost of a root canal and dental crown.