10 Things Your Dentist Would Want You to Know About Dental Exams
Everyone knows regular dental appointments are important to dental health. But perhaps you haven’t really considered the many benefits to routine dental appointments, or the things you can do between appointments to help maintain good dental health and keep the dentist’s work – and your bills – to a minimum!
Let’s go over the top 10 things your dentist would want you to know about dental exams and appointments!
- Change your toothbrush more regularly – as often as every 3 months. Most regular toothbrushes get worn out after 3 months of daily use and as a result, don’t work as well as they did when they were new. If you have gum disease like gingivitis, you should change your toothbrush out every 4 to 6 weeks! The bristles on your toothbrush can harbor the bacteria that cause gum disease. Other things to keep in mind about maintaining your toothbrush are to wash it out with hot water after using it and to always replace it after you have been sick.
- Root canal treatments are not actually painful. Many people seem to think that root canals are a very painful experience, but this isn’t the case with current root canal procedures. Thanks to the advances in dental care technology and tools, root canals are as painless as having a cavity filled, which is also a pain-free experience. When you get a root canal or a dental filling, your dentist will generally numb the area completely with a local anesthetic, which lasts until after the pain has subsided.
- Maintaining dental health between appointments is easier than you think. It is common for people to think that maintaining good dental health is hard and requires a lot of effort. However, if you brush twice daily, floss your teeth once a day, and are eating a healthy diet, you’ll have healthier teeth and gums. Be sure to see your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings too!
- Dental problems don’t resolve themselves, so it’s important to see your dentist. Once your dentist has diagnosed a tooth, gum, or oral health problem, you will want to get it addressed as soon as possible, as tooth decay and cavities do not heal on their own and need medical treatment. This means that it’s essential to get any tooth decay issues fixed by your dentist as soon as possible after they’re identified.
- Good nutrition between appointments helps keep teeth healthy. If your regular diet contains a lot of sweet snacks, candy, or sweetened beverages like soda, your teeth are more likely to develop decay between dental appointments. Sugar sticks to your teeth and provides a breeding ground for harmful tooth decay-causing bacteria. For this reason, it is best to avoid sugary drinks and sodas when possible and to always brush your teeth right after eating sugary snacks and sweet foods.
- If you have bad breath, a dental issue may be to blame. If you have bad breath on a regular basis, there’s an 85% chance that it’s because of a dental health issue. If your bad breath is caused by a dental condition, you may be tempted to treat it with mouthwash. While mouthwash may help mask the odor for a while, you will need to find the underlying issue addressed by your dentist as soon as possible to find a solution.
- Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are crucial. One of the best things you can do for your dental health is to get regular oral health checkups and cleanings at your dentist’s office. These regularly scheduled checkups can help to prevent cavities, gum disease, root canals, oral cancer, gum diseases, and other dental health conditions. Preventive care is important to maintain your oral health. So be sure to show up for those regular dental appointments with your preferred dentist.
- Gum disease affects your overall health, not just your dental health. In addition to being linked as the number one leading cause of tooth loss in adults, gum disease has also been linked to other seemingly unrelated health problems such as heart disease and strokes. If gum disease is diagnosed and treated in its early stages, it can be successfully treated and reversed. If you don’t get gum disease treated properly and promptly, it could progress into the more serious stage of gum disease known as Periodontitis, which can include bone loss. As with most other dental health issues, getting regular checkups, cleanings, and treatments can help prevent gum disease.
- Dental exams also include oral cancer screenings. Oral cancer is one of the most deadly diseases in the United States, causing the death of one person every hour of every day! When you get a dental exam, your dentist or dental hygienist will check for the signs of oral cancer and can help diagnose it early on. Oral cancer is highly treatable if diagnosed and treated early on, so going in for routine dental exams can be beneficial in many ways.
- Brushing every day is the best thing you can do between dental exams. When you brush your teeth twice a day, every day, and do so properly, you are eliminating plaque which contains the bacteria that cause cavities and other tooth decay. Plaque is that soft and sticky white substance on your teeth that accumulates on the teeth from food remnants and bacteria buildup. If you floss daily, it’ll help remove the plaque from between your teeth, in the areas your toothbrush is unable to reach properly. Brushing daily can also help remove the bacteria that lead to gingivitis.
There you have it – 10 things your dentist would want you to know about the importance of routine dental exams! Be sure to schedule your regular dental appointments, as well as brush and floss every day to prevent cavities and gum disease.
Are there any other facts about dental appointments that you find interesting? Let us know in the comments below!