5 Reasons for Biannual Dentist Visits
Does it ever seem as though visiting the dentist’s office every six months is a bit overkill? We’re told to schedule checkups twice a year, but it may start to feel unnecessary at times—especially if your teeth rarely have cavities in need of filling. So what’s the point? Before skipping your next appointment due to cost, inconvenience, or dental anxiety, consider these risks carefully.
1. Plaque and Tartar Buildup
We’re all familiar with cavities, and, hopefully, we understand the importance of daily brushing and flossing to avoid them. However, plaque seems to find a way of building up in the crevices of teeth that even the most diligent flossers can miss. If plaque builds up long enough, then it eventually turns to tartar. Tartar cements itself to your teeth, causing stains and plaque to become trapped. This is where it comes in handy to have a professional remove the gunk from your teeth before the buildup continues to get worse.
2. Oral Cancer
Signs of oral cancer are not typically noticeable to the individual right away, but thankfully dentists are trained to recognize these signs when performing biannual checkups. It’s important to catch the symptoms right away in order to address the problem immediately. By taking a trip to the dentist every six months, it increases your chances of early detection before the matter turns life-threatening.
3. Gum Disease
Gum disease is caused by an infection known as gingivitis. This infection is oftentimes difficult to catch yourself before it’s too late. Symptoms include sore gums, redness, swelling, bleeding, or teeth loosening. However, many of these symptoms don’t occur until after the infection has officially developed into the disease. Dentists are able to detect early signs of infection, which will save both your gums and your wallet in the future.
4. Head and Neck Examination
At each dental appointment, your dentist will not only examine your teeth but your head and neck as well. All this poking and prodding is to check your lymph nodes and to catch any sign of abnormalities that may indicate a serious disease. Swollen lymph nodes aren’t usually accompanied with pain, so it’s hard to detect if not examined by a professional. This can be an indication of an infection, a medical disorder, or a serious illness or disease.
5. Impact on Overall Health
Bacteria caused by oral infections can enter your body and lead to more severe conditions and illnesses such as heart and lung diseases, strokes, and pneumonia. By getting your teeth professionally cleaned at regular dental check-ups, you can better prevent these infections as well as catch them before it’s too late.
Visiting the dentist every six months may not have been very high on your priority list before, but now you should have a better understanding of its importance. Biannual checkups are not only there to check your teeth for cavities and thoroughly clean them, but they are necessary to detect infection, fight disease, and keep your body healthy.