Life is so busy these days that finding available space on your calendar feels next to impossible. But is it okay to skip regular dental checkups if you brush and floss daily?
It’s great that you’re doing your part to keep your teeth and gums healthy at home. However, only dental professionals can accurately assess your oral health and perform the deep cleaning necessary for tip-top oral health.
What Happens If You Don’t Have Regular Dental Checkups?
Many people avoid making dental appointments because they think they don’t have time, are not sure they can find a convenient office location, are worried about cost, or are too afraid.1 But staying away from the dentist can cause minor dental issues to grow into more severe problems.
What Can A Dental Exam Reveal?
Twice-yearly dental checkups can uncover problems that you would not have noticed otherwise. During the examination, your dentist will assess your current oral health and alert you to potential risks leading to decay or disease. Here’s what your dentist is looking for during an exam.
Despite vigilant brushing and flossing, it’s still possible to get a cavity. You may not even realize that you have one. Since an untreated cavity can potentially lead to further infection and tooth loss, dental checkups will ensure that it can be treated in time to prevent further damage.
As part of the exam, the hygienist will look at your gums to see if they appear puffy or inflamed. Those symptoms may indicate you have a mild form of gum disease called gingivitis. The hygienist will also measure the space between your teeth and gums. If your teeth are pulling away from your gums and forming “pockets,” that’s a likely indication of advanced gum disease, and your dentist will recommend the appropriate treatment.2
Gum disease must be identified early and treated since it is linked to several other serious medical problems like heart disease, stroke, lung disease, and other serious health conditions related to inflammation.3 Learning about the condition of your gums during regular visits to the dentist may ultimately serve to improve and protect your overall health.
Dentists will detect signs of oral cancer by looking for red or white patches or sores inside your mouth. She’ll also feel for lumps or abnormalities inside your mouth and on your neck and throat. Oral cancer screening during checkups can provide early detection, which increases the chances for remission or recovery.
Professional Dental Cleaning Is Still Necessary With At-Home Brushing And Flossing
When you eat sugary or starchy foods, the bacteria in your mouth becomes acidic to break down those carbohydrates. Unless you brush your teeth immediately after eating, the mix of bacteria, carbohydrates, and acids forms a sticky film called plaque that can eventually lead to tooth decay.
If plaque isn’t removed quickly, it hardens into a substance called tartar. Tartar, which can’t be removed with only a toothbrush and floss, builds up below the gum line and can cause infection and gum disease. During the cleaning portion of your appointment, a dental hygienist will use special tools to remove this hardened and bacteria-laden substance before polishing and flossing your teeth.
Make Time For Regular Dental Checkups
Make time for your health with gentle dentistry in Webster. Dr. Tehila Cohen leads the experienced and skilled team at Empire Dental Care, where patients are always treated with a soft, caring touch. Conveniently located in the Webster area, not far from Rochester, we offer flexible scheduling and a variety of financing options. Find time on your calendar and make an appointment by calling us today at 585.671.1650