They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and this is certainly true when it comes to regular dental visits. It's easy to tell yourself you'll make an appointment later or that your teeth seem fine and you can skip a check-up this year--but then when you finally do get around to scheduling that dental visit, your dental cleaning seems to take forever and you find out you'll have to come back in to get several cavities filled.
On the other end of the spectrum, the patients we see every six months like clockwork are usually in the exam chair for under an hour. There's very little plaque and staining to remove, so their dental cleanings are quick and painless. Their teeth are in good shape, with no decay and their next visit with us won't be for another six months because there's no restorative work needed. These are some of the short term benefits of regular dental visits, but seeing a dentist regularly can boost your oral health and overall well-being for years down the road too.
Here are some of the long term benefits of regular dental visits.
Dentists Check for Oral Cancer
During every routine dental visit, your dentist will examine you for abnormal tissue or sores under your jaw, the sides of your neck, and your lips, cheeks, and tongue. These abnormalities could be a sign of oral cancer. As with all cancers, early diagnosis is crucial, which is why we recommend regular dental visits every six months.
Gum Disease Is Linked to Heart Disease
Patients with gum disease have two to three times the risk of heart attack, stroke, or other serious cardiovascular events. While doctors aren't quite sure about how the two are connected, it's thought that gum disease increases systemic inflammation, which is a contributing factor to atherosclerosis. The best ways to prevent gum disease are good oral hygiene practices at home and regular dental visits.
Dentists Can Spot Signs of Systemic Diseases
Systemic autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and diabetes sometimes show up in the mouth before there are signs anywhere else, so regular dental visits can spot these diseases even if you haven’t experienced any other symptoms yet. If your dentist or hygienist finds signs of these diseases during your exam, they will refer you to your doctor for follow up.
Your Teeth Will Be in Better Shape as You Age
Want to keep your natural teeth well into your senior years? Visit your dentist regularly! Research has shown that there is a link between long-term tooth loss and frequency of preventive dental visits. When you see a dentist regularly, we can nip problems in the bud before you require extensive (and expensive!) restorative work.
Schedule Your Next Regular Dental Visit with Us
If you haven't seen a dentist in a while, there's no better time to get back on track. We'd be happy to set up an appointment for your first visit. Contact our Fairfield, CT dental practice to schedule your visit at 203-255-6878.