All of us have a point in our lives when we are simply too busy, making it hard to keep up with regular dental care that we might have otherwise done. One of the most common things to let slide in times of great stress is dental appointments, where patients either cancel them with a promise to reschedule some day in the distant future or continually move out an appointment until they can make time for it. Regardless of how busy you are, you still need to keep up with your dental appointments. This is why.
- Clean plaque and tartar off: This is the most common association with dental check-ups and often why people think it is ok to skip one. The hygienist does not do a simple brush of your teeth, but instead goes through and removes plaque and tartar build up on your teeth, preventing or exposing cavities.
- Catch cavities when they are small: Even if you were last in six months ago, new cavities can begin to develop. Treating them earlier means less treatment and removing the decay before it causes too many problems. You might not even know that a cavity is forming, but the hygienist and dentist will be able to see it.
- Oral cancer screenings: Oral cancer is a serious disease and early detection means early treatment. Vancouver dentist Dr. Garry Lunn at Birch Dental Group performs an oral cancer screening at every exam, making sure there are no concerns or risks that might need to be addressed.
- Gum disease detection: Just like the case with cavities, if periodontal disease (also known as gym disease), is beginning to manifest itself, finding it early is much easier to treat than finding it when it is more advanced. Your dentist will be able to help stop gum disease in its tracks.
- X-rays to look for unseen problems: Dental concerns often lurk beneath the surface of your teeth, making it impossible to see with the naked eye, but easier to see using an x-ray. The x-rays look beneath the outer tooth, exposing any issues going on underneath.
- Reviewing habits and homecare: We talked to Dr. Soraya who is a dentist in Delta, BC and she says that she goes beyond just looking at the current state of your oral health but talk about how or why it is where it is. Some foods you might have started eating in between visits, or even habits you developed will be reviewed by your dentist to get you back on track.
- Checking lymph nodes and jaw joints: During your routine exam, your dentist will also perform a head and neck exam, checking your lymph nodes for any infections or other risks.
Ultimately, a lot can change in between your dental visits. The difference between going in for a cleaning at 6 months vs. 12 months can be astronomical. Don’t let tooth decay happen to you. Keep on track with your dental check-ups.