We all know the dental routine really well: brush twice a day, floss once a day and visit the dentist for a professional checkup and cleaning twice a year.
And you follow this routine…routinely. In fact, you’re about ready to go in for your next dental checkup. But you haven’t had any cavities or gum issues in years so you figure “I’m good, no issues. I think I’ll cancel this appointment.”
We urge you to go anyway. That is, make sure you visit your dentist at least once a year. Here’s why.
Sugars and starches in the foods you eat work with the bacteria that lives in your mouth to create acid. Acid then bores into your enamel, weakening it, and eventually causing a cavity. Plaque also can form on the roots of your teeth and under your gums, eventually breaking down the bone that supports your teeth, causing tooth loss.
Brushing and flossing are critical to keeping this acid formation at bay. But so is getting a professional cleaning/checkup because floss, your toothbrush and your fluoride toothpaste always miss something and so the plaque has time to build up, making it ever harder for your floss/toothbrush/toothpaste to remove the built up plaque. In fact, plaque can become so hard only your dentist will be able to remove it.
True, it can take years for a cavity to form or your gums to deteriorate, but if you skip too many dental visits – and we’ve noticed that many people who skip “just one,” end up not visiting the dentist again for one, two, or even three or more years – that give plaque plenty of time to form a cavity. Or for you to develop gingivitis or periodontal disease and, once they do, you’re in for more dental treatments, more time spent in the dentist’s chair and more cost.
Instead, make sure to keep your twice-a-year dental appointments! In fact, some people at greater risk of dental disease may benefit greatly from going in for a professional cleaning three or even four times a year. Such individuals could include smokers, people with diabetes, pregnant women, people who have developed gum disease, those with a weak immune system, and folks who just tend to build up more plaque than other people do.
Sitting in the dentist’s chair for half an hour or so with your mouth open wide twice a year or so is a small price to pay to keep major – and potentially serious, painful and expensive – oral health problems at bay.
So if you have a dental checkup scheduled soon, make sure you keep it!