It’s easy to forget when to go to the dentist. Or even, why is it necessary at all. Your teeth seem to be in perfect condition, they’re not bothering you, and you have no discernable reason to get a cleaning or have your pearly whites checked on. Or so it may seem.
The reality is that your oral health really isn’t that simple. There are many serious reasons to schedule and follow through on a dental visit. We’re going to look at a few essential things to know about dental check ups.
The first thing to note is that your teeth aren’t always going to let you know that something bad is happening. Sure, you’ll start to experience painful symptoms after the significant damage has set it, but things might be relatively smooth before that point.
You can’t see the plaque in your gums or the infection that could come as a result. Those things require a closer look. Bacteria in our mouths will eventually work its way into our gums, enamel, pulp, and worse. That movement leads to costly, painful, and time-consuming dental work that you don’t want.
The look of your teeth could be affected, your smile will take a hit, and your confidence might not remain intact. It’s truly a slippery slope, and the best way to start defending against those things is to schedule a dental visit.
Your personal routine is the most important contributor to your oral health. If you have a solid oral hygiene routine, you’re going to defend against a lot of the plaque and tartar that lead to gum disease.
That said, many people don’t follow a strict or effective routine. Some of us brush our teeth once at night (or every other night) and call it a day. That’s simply not enough. Visiting a dentist will show you just how effective your oral routine is. You could get the green light with a clean bill of health or you might find that there’s a lot more tartar lurking in the depths than you’d previously imagined.
In any case, you can get feedback from your dentist. They’ll know what you’re doing right, and they’ll have insightful tips on what you could be doing better. At the end of the day, you’ll leave the office with a more informed idea of how to take care of your teeth.
There are a couple of reasons that you go to the dentist on a regular basis. Even if you’re not experiencing any trouble with your teeth, the best practice is to schedule visits for check ups and cleanings.
These are two separate events, and they both provide your dentist with the chance to do damage control or notice significant issues. The check up is intended to do just that. You might get an X-ray, examine the inside of your gums, take a look at problem teeth, and address any issues that are causing you pain.
It’s essential to have regular check ups because, as we mentioned, those issues don’t always float to the surface of our minds. They tend to develop gradually and express themselves when it’s too late to use preventative measures.
The cleaning is another instance where dentists can spot serious issues. The point of that visit, though, is to effectively “reset” your teeth back to their clean and neutral state. Dentists will clean the gum line very well, scrub the teeth, and let you walk out of the office with a whiter smile and significantly better breath in some cases. That’s just a maintenance thing, but it does a lot to boost your confidence and reassure you that you’re in good health.
The most common type of oral disease is gingivitis, which is also generally referred to as gum disease.
Gingivitis can be very severe or relatively mild, depending on the case. It’s nearly impossible to diagnose yourself with gum disease and find effective ways to treat it, though. There are other aspects of oral health that reflect different diseases as well. Dentists might be the first ones to spot severe signs of oral cancers, for example. They could notice warning signs in areas that don’t get covered in your regular physical with a doctor.
Your dentists might also notice signs of vitamin deficiencies, early signs of mental health issues that could be emerging, eating disorders, substance abuse signs, and much more. The teeth are a window into your behaviors and other issues that might be emerging elsewhere in your body and mind.
You might have a few lifestyle habits that are seriously affecting your teeth. Things like smoking and drug use are classic examples, but there are a lot more seemingly harmless things that might be doing a serious number on your oral health.
For example, eating a lot of sticky and chewy foods might be wearing down on your enamel. Those foods happen to be very sugary, so stickiness and sugar could be creating a combination of weak enamel and plaque. That’s a perfect recipe for gum disease. Your dentist might also provide general education on things you can do to improve habits and create a healthier oral situation.
Contact us for more information and to schedule a visit with Dr. Kyle Nishimura here at Orange Grove Family Dentistry. While you’re here, our dedicated team will start by carefully evaluating your overall oral health & wellness. As a new patient, you will receive advanced digital X-rays, a professional oral health assessment and exam, and a comprehensive cleaning. Along the way, we’ll get to know you, your special treatment preferences, and your hopes for a beautifully healthy smile.