8 Reasons Why You Should Go to the Dentist Even If Your Teeth Feel Fine
If you want to stay on top of your oral health, one of the best things to do is to schedule a dental visit at least twice a year. The sad news is that 12% of adults aged between 20 and 64 have not visited the dentist in the past 5 years, according to National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research data. If you skip dental appointments, one of the top reasons may be that your oral health and teeth feel just fine. However, there are many benefits of sticking to regular dental visits, even when you have no major concerns about your oral health. Below we consider the top reasons to visit your dentist regularly, even if your teeth feel fine.
1. Preventing Future Issues
Dentists can help fix problems with your oral health, but they also specialize in preventive dentistry. Preventive dentistry involves dental care that maintains good oral health so you don’t develop any issues in the first place. Preventive care is an ongoing process, and it encourages you to develop good habits, such as brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing regularly. In addition, you should avoid acidic foods because they can slowly erode your enamel, while hard foods like candy could chip your teeth. Another good habit to develop is scheduling regular checkups with your dentist. Taking good care of your teeth is a habit that should be developed in early childhood. The sooner you develop these habits, the better your oral health will be in later years.
One of the main reasons why you should go to the dentist even when your teeth feel fine is that you can benefit from the wide range of dentistry services on offer. These services often include thorough oral exams, teeth cleanings, and routine X-rays. During regular checkups, your dentist will examine your mouth, teeth, and gums to identify potential problems that may be developing. Even if you haven’t noticed anything out of the ordinary, your dentist can spot potential issues, such as gum disease and dental caries.
When looking for the right dental professional that provides preventive dentistry, you can look for a general dentist or a pediatric dentist. A general dentist is also called a family dentist, and they are a great choice for routine preventive care, whether you need regular exams, teeth cleanings, or dental X-rays. Your general dentist can refer you to other dental specialists if needed. Preventive dentistry for kids is also important, so you might need to work with a pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentists will help identify issues in early childhood and offer preventive dentistry services, such as teeth cleanings, oral exams, fluoride application, routine X-rays, and referrals to other dental specialists when further care is required.
2. Identifying Potential Problems
There are many diseases that can impact your oral health, including tooth decay and gum disease. When these issues occur, they can affect the health of your teeth, gums, and the overall oral-facial system. This can negatively impact certain functions like chewing, speaking, and smiling. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Americans spend over $124 billion on dental-related costs each year alone. There’s no doubt that dental expenses can be huge, especially if you leave the problem to get worse. There are even lenders that provide financial products dedicated to covering dental bills. This shows how some dental problems can potentially wreak havoc on your finances if you’re forced to take out a dental loan.
Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the risk of expensive dental bills if you take a proactive approach. Going to the dentist regularly is one of the best-proven ways to prevent issues and save money. For instance, cavities are easily treatable, but when they are not addressed in time, they can lead to a dead tooth, abscesses or severe infection of the gums. The infection can spread to other parts of the body and affect your overall health. The best strategy is to get any potential issues sorted out before they begin affecting your quality of life. The only way to know there’s nothing wrong is if you get the green light from your dentist. Otherwise, it’s safe to assume that there may be potential issues lurking beneath the surface and threatening to affect your oral health.
3. Getting Checked for Oral Cancer
Did you know that your dentist is qualified to detect signs of oral cancer? Thus, regular visits to the dentist don’t just benefit your teeth, but they can help detect bigger health issues. Oral cancer is one of those diseases where symptoms can manifest in the mouth, and your dentist is one of the key persons in the diagnosis of oral cancer. Seeing your dentist regularly means they can watch for developments linked to oral cancer. This is crucial because the chances of successful treatment are higher when the condition is diagnosed early. When diagnosed particularly early, your dentist might notice precancerous lesions that may lead to cancer. At this early stage, oral cancer is more likely to be cured.
You might already be aware of this, but it can’t be overemphasized enough that oral health can have a big impact on your overall health. Signs such as bad breath and sensitive gums might just be your body sending a message about your overall health. According to Mayo Clinic, the number of oral cancer diagnoses has been increasing in the past years. Seeing your dentist often for oral cancer screenings is crucial, especially if you have all the risk factors.
Besides helping to detect oral cancer, your dentist might also be able to identify other diseases with oral manifestations. The list includes diabetes, leukemia, pancreatic cancer, heart disease, and kidney disease. When you visit your dentist regularly, they may know that you have health issues before you do. They’ll examine your mouth, gums, tongue, neck, jaw, and lymph nodes, looking for any abnormalities that might be cause for concern. They can also order x-rays to check for signs such as bone loss, which can be an indicator of osteoporosis in seniors. If they find anything, your dentist will let you know and refer you to a qualified specialist for further examination. In this way, visiting the dentist when your teeth feel fine can potentially save your life and your health.
4. Addressing Headaches and Jaw Pain
Chronic headaches are one of the most common ailments that people experience. Sometimes, it’s easy to trace chronic headaches to issues like dehydration, lack of sleep, and stress. Muscle tension is another common cause of headaches, and according to Mayo Clinic, the issue can be exacerbated by dental problems. That’s because there are muscles in your jaw, and they’re constantly working to open and close your jaws. However, if your teeth are not properly aligned, this can cause the muscles to work even harder, thus increasing muscle tension and worsening your headaches.
If your teeth have been misaligned for a long time and you’re used to it, it’s easy to feel there’s nothing wrong with your teeth. Still, fixing misalignment issues can make things like clenching your jaw and chewing considerably easier. Headaches that are associated with dental issues are often accompanied by toothaches, pain behind the eyes, teeth grinding, sore jaw muscles, and a popping or clicking jaw. It’s possible to suffer from headaches due to dental problems without even realizing it. Regular dental checkups increase your chances of catching these issues early.
5. Detecting Gum Disease
Your gums shouldn’t bleed when you brush your teeth. Even if your teeth are in perfectly good condition, bleeding gums can be one of the top warning signs you need to see a dentist. Gum disease ranges in severity from gingivitis to periodontitis. It’s better to catch gum disease in its mild form, where it’s easily treatable. Otherwise, when your gums are infected for a long period of time, this can increase your risk of various diseases. Your dentist knows what to look for, so they catch the problem early and treat it before it gets worse. You should also watch out for bad breath, red, swollen gums, and other symptoms that indicate you need to see a dentist ASAP.
6. Getting Insights From Your Dentist
You may think you know all there’s to know about taking care of your teeth, but your dentists can always offer fresh, new insights that help you improve your oral health. Sometimes it’s easy to take good dental health for granted, but your dentist is best equipped to explain just how important your oral health is and its impact on your overall health. When you schedule your next appointment, be sure to have a list of questions prepared for your dentist. For instance, you can ask what else you can do to enhance your existing oral hygiene at home. Dentists often recommend using the right toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. When you brush and floss your teeth, don’t forget your tongue and gums, and avoid overbrushing. These are just some of the things you can learn from your dentist.
7. Improving the Appearance of Your Smile
There could be nothing wrong with your teeth per se, but sometimes there’s room for improvement when it comes to your smile. According to the American Academy for Cosmetic Dentistry, almost 50% of adults in the U.S. believe that a great smile can help make a good first impression. When you schedule an appointment with a cosmetic dentist, you can have access to a wide range of services designed to enhance your beautiful smile. While a general dentist can help you maintain your smile with preventive techniques and professional cleanings, a cosmetic dentist can help take your smile to the next level.
Do you have stained teeth? Teeth whitening is a common cosmetic procedure that can brighten your smile and dazzle everyone you meet. Other cosmetic dental procedures include dental bonding, veneers, crowns, enamel shaping, orthodontics, gum reshaping, and more, all designed to give your smile a makeover. You can opt for a combination of these dental techniques to achieve the smile you have always wanted. This can greatly improve your self-esteem, helping you to feel more confident in social situations. Start by scheduling a consultation with a qualified dental professional to see what the right dentist can do for your smile.
8. Enjoying Peace of Mind
Ultimately, going to the dentist, even when your teeth feel fine, gives you peace of mind. That’s because instead of operating on assumptions, you’re working off of the expert opinion of your dentist. Therefore, when your dentist tells you that your oral health is in top-notch condition and there’s nothing to worry about, you can relax because they’re qualified to give you this assurance. On the other hand, you might have a nagging fear something could be wrong with your teeth against all appearances. This uncertainty can lead to worry, which can affect the quality of life. At the end of the day, scheduling regular dental visits will give you more peace of mind than skipping your appointments.
The good news is that your dentist can also encourage your peace of mind if you experience dental anxiety. Once you communicate with your dentist, they can create a tailored treatment plan that may involve the use of anxiety-relieving medication and techniques like conscious sedation, laughing gas, and general anesthesia. These techniques will ensure that you have a relaxed and pleasant experience during your appointment, which encourages you to keep showing up. The more you stick to your regular dental visits, the easier it is to stay on top of your oral health, and the more peace of mind you get to enjoy.
The key takeaway is that regular dental checkups are a must. When it comes to your oral health, it’s best to trust your dentist’s opinion. Although your opinion might be that your teeth feel fine, there are many potential issues that might go unnoticed and continue to get worse unless your dentist identifies and addresses them. Dental professionals are not there just to fix your teeth. They can also prevent future issues, educate you on the best dental habits, and identify signs of larger health issues, such as oral cancer. Therefore, if you have wondered what the big deal was with going to the dentist, now you know. To start your journey towards even better oral health, get in touch with Loudoun Dental Associates today.