There may be a variety of reasons why individuals don’t visit their dentist regularly. These reasons can range from a lack of knowledge, fear of pain, a busy schedule, or the lack of funds. Prevention of a problem is always the most frugal, pain-free, and healthiest option to choose. Despite not feeling pain or discomfort, there may be health issues related to your oral well-being that you may not even be aware of.
A great example is the cause and consequences of gum disease, which progresses without any pain or noticeable symptoms. Approximately 7 out of 10 Canadians will develop gum disease at some point in their life according to the Canadian Dental Association (CDA). Our overall health starts with our oral health. For instance, gum disease can increase a person’s risk of heart disease.
The majority of Canadians visit their dentist regularly. The CDA also estimated that at least 75% visit their dentist for cleaning at a minimum of once per year and 86% do so once every twenty four months. Unfortunately, for those who do not visit the dentist for a regular check-up or cleaning may experience more significant issues which could have been prevented.
It’s essential to understand how often you should be visiting your dentist, at any age, and what to expect from your visits.
Here Is How Often You Should Be Visiting Your Dentist:
If you are not experiencing any pain or discomfort, an annual check-up and cleaning would be sufficient. Your dentist will suggest general oral hygiene tips and precautions so that your teeth and gums remain at their best.
You should be visiting your dentist at least twice a year if you are noticing any oral issues such as; tooth sensitivity, bad breath, gum soreness, discolouration, or a toothache. If you are pregnant, are a smoker, suffer from acid reflux or diabetes, then it is also recommended for you to visit on a semi annual basis. In addition, plaque in particular can be an issue, which requires more than one visit a year for cleaning purposes.
When you face a dental emergency, you must visit the dentist immediately. If you have throbbing pain, a broken tooth or you lost a veneer, filling, or crown, call your dentist directly to book an appointment.
During your regular dental visits, your dentist will check for cavities and other oral problems. X-rays might be taken to detect cavities between your teeth. The exam will also include a check for plaque and tartar on your teeth. Plaque is a transparent, sticky layer of bacteria. If it is not removed, it can harden and become tartar. You cannot remove tartar with brushing and flossing. If plaque and tartar build-up on your teeth, they can cause oral diseases. Next, your gums will be checked.
It is difficult to get rid of hardened plaque by mere brushing and flossing. Therefore, you must visit your dentist for regular dental cleaning sessions. During such dental visits, your dentist will examine your mouth and start the procedure of cleaning.
Apart from general check-ups and cleaning sessions, your dentist will also check your mouth to identify any possible signs of dental or gum issues. The check-up may also include a careful examination of your tongue, throat, face, head, and neck. This is to look for any signs of trouble – swelling, redness, or possible signs of oral cancer. With the help of this in-depth inspection and check-up, your dentist will be able to detect any oral issue well in time and provide the right treatment and medication too.
What Should You Do Between Each Dental Visit?
Take care of your teeth and gums between regular dental visits. Plaque is always forming on your teeth, but you can manage it by brushing and flossing regularly. Here are some tips for good oral care at home:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Be sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride.
- Floss daily.
- Use a mouthwash to help control plaque bacteria. This will also help to keep your breath fresh.
- Watch your diet. Avoid too much of sugary and acidic food. Rely more on nutritious food.
- Don’t bite and chew hard items that you shouldn’t, like nails, ice, or a pencil.
With growing evidence linking oral health with general health, only you and your dentist can determine how many visits are best. Visiting your dentist also sets a positive example for your kids so that they don’t avoid or fear to see the dentist.
Choosing a dentist that is open late during the week or the weekends can help you better manage a busy schedule while maintaining your health. If you’re looking to book an appointment with us at North Edge Dental in Edmonton, click here.