It’s unfortunate, but many people still believe that visiting the dentist is only an optional task. These people justify not visiting because they don’t have any current issues. To them, visiting is only appropriate if you have a dental emergency. The reality is checkups and cleanings are an essential part of your oral health.
You can’t say that you have a complete oral care regimen unless you commit to bi-annual dental visits. To learn why, consider these points from a dentist in Alamo Ranch.
Checkups: Helping You Catch Early Signs of Disease
During your oral exam, which is basically a more clinical way of saying checkup, the dentist stays on the lookout for far more than you’d think. While they are making sure that no gum disease or tooth decay is present, they’re also making sure that your at-home oral care is sufficient. Additionally, dentists will make sure your bite is properly aligned. If your bite is misaligned, it can easily lead to tooth erosion as neighboring teeth grind up against each other.
They are also looking for signs of bruxism, a common condition that involves the grinding or clenching of teeth. While these don’t have anything to do with your oral care regimen, they have massive implications for your oral health.
Furthermore, dentists are in a unique position to catch systemic disease, often times more so than general doctors simply because you see them more often in a given year. For example, dentists can catch signs of:
- Oral cancer
- Heart disease
- GERD or acid reflux
- Eating disorders
Cleanings: Reaching the Areas Your Toothbrush Cannot
Brushing and flossing are the first lines of defense against decay and gum disease, but that doesn’t mean it can remove everything. For one, tartar is impossible to remove on your own as you don’t have the tools or expertise to remove it effectively or safely. Tartar is a calcified form of plaque, which requires dental probing tools and careful precision to break down. Attempting this on your own could result in the permanent damage of your enamel.
While toothbrushes (electric or otherwise), dental floss and mouth rinses all help you maintain care in between visits, only a professional cleaning can remove plaque and tartar from the hard-to-reach areas of your mouth.
The Best Defense Against Dental Emergencies
Just because you don’t notice any symptoms doesn’t mean there isn’t anything wrong inside your mouth. Even dentists who are trained to catch dental issues still need X-ray machines in order to confirm what’s going on underneath your oral tissue. Without it, you won’t know for sure if underlying decay is present and requires treatment. By the time you even notice symptoms (i.e. tooth pain, bleeding gums or facial swelling), it’s already too late.
Furthermore, those who do not want to spend extra money on emergency/restorative treatments are encouraged to commit to routine checkups and cleanings. If you haven’t scheduled your dental cleaning in Alamo Ranch yet this year, don’t hesitate to contact a dentist today!
About the Author
Dr. Michele Moreno earned her DDS degree from the Helotes’s University of Texas Health Science Center. Her many years as a staff dentist in a community health clinic, as well as her time spent participating in the National Health Service Corps proves she’s able to prevent and treat a wide array of dental issues. To learn more about her preventive treatments, you can contact her through her website.