October 5, 2019
Each year, millions of Americans face various dental problems including tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. In order to fix these issues, a dental professional must be able to formally diagnose and treat them with the right tools. Unfortunately, many individuals use a variety of reasons to avoid the dentist’s office, including time, money, fear, or the belief it will go away on its own. Since October is National Dental Hygiene Month, read on to find out what can happen if you avoid the dentist, why you should keep these regular appointments, and what you can do at home to improve your teeth and gums.
Why Regular Dental Visits Are Important
The American Dental Association recommends two regular dental checkups and cleanings each year. Essentially, every six months, you should have a dental professional check your teeth, gums, and complete facial structure for any problems that might exist.
These twice-a-year appointments are extremely beneficial because of their ability to remove harmful plaque and tartar build-up as well as allow your dentist to check for areas of concern as it pertains to tooth decay, gum disease, or oral cancer.
What Can Happen if You Avoid the Dentist
If you don’t think regular dental appointments are important, you might think so after we explain what can happen if you avoid the dentist’s office.
- Gum disease: Depending on the severity, this can lead to problems developing within the body (i.e. heart disease, diabetes, neurological disorders, respiratory disease, cancer)
- Tooth decay: This can result in needing a filling, dental crown, root canal, or even a tooth extraction, depending on how deep and widespread the decay is.
- Cavities: When these little holes develop in your teeth, you’ll need a filling to restore the natural tooth structure.
- Oral cancer: If detected early during a screening, it can be treated and cured; however, if not found until it’s in the latter stages, it might be too late.
Refusing to see a dentist every six months could end up costing you more money and time spent in the dentist’s chair. When problems arise and are left untreated, it is likely you’ll require more extensive treatment to restore your oral health.
At-Home Oral Hygiene Tips
To keep your smile healthy in-between appointments, here are 4 tips to practice:
- Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled brush for two minutes, twice a day.
- Floss between your teeth at least once a day.
- Make sure to use fluoride toothpaste to strengthen the enamel and protect your teeth from tooth decay.
- Rinse your mouth with an antimicrobial mouthwash each morning and night after brushing and flossing.
Take charge of your smile and make sure your teeth and gums remain healthy. By combining good oral hygiene practices at home and regular visits to the dentist, you’ll be well on your way to a better, brighter, healthier smile.
About the Author
Dr. Christopher Pollard graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in biology before going on to obtain a DDS degree from Baylor College of Dentistry. Combining his passion for science and a desire to help others, he pursued a career in dentistry and has since worked to complete hundreds of hours of continuing education courses. In fact, he finished a 10-month, 320 hours, dental implant maxi-course with the Medical College of Georgia’s Dental School and passed the certification exam given by the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. To learn more, contact us via our website or by calling (972) 423-0880.
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