If your recent checkup left you with a, “Look Mom, No Cavities!” moment and a clean bill of dental health, you might be thinking you don’t need to come back for a while. Regular dental checkups are all about prevention and here’s why:
Truth be told, the only constant in life is that things are always changing. Your risk for dental problems is likely to shift over the years just like everything else. Although your enamel is very strong, its resistance to external forces will decrease with time.
Here’s an example: One year everything seems fantastic and the next you could find yourself stressed out, grinding your teeth and in the middle of an uncontrollable soda habit. All three of these problems can lead to expensive repairs. Our dental professionals can help you navigate your way back into a healthy state before things get worse, but if you we don’t see you, we can’t be helpful at all.
One of the most important things to remember about dental problems is that they usually stem from things we can’t see without a microscope. With hundreds of identified germ species, the mouth is technically the dirtiest place on the human body. Even when someone has a low risk for cavities, it doesn’t mean they are safe from bacterial infections that lead to gum disease. Tiny bacteria are very opportunistic, congregating in and around dental work and below the gumline, where you can’t effectively clean. With regular dental visits, you will be able to control your risk for periodontal problems and decay throughout your life.
You Don’t Have X-Ray Vision
Even when everything feels great, we can’t make assumptions. A hefty portion of each tooth that could get a cavity simply can’t be examined with our eyes alone. We depend on radiographs to look in between the teeth and into the surrounding bone. Furthermore, bone loss and cysts could potentially go for years undetected because they don’t become symptomatic until they develop into a big problem. Think of dental X-rays like you would any bone density screening or mammogram. Early detection will save you time and money.
In many fields of medicine, patients only see the doctor when they have an obvious problem. Each of our dental team members has specific duties all geared at providing you with the best care possible. Regular dental cleanings and checkups will help control tartar buildup and colonies of germs that cause disease. During these appointments, your hygienist is also gathering important details about your mouth and reports to the doctor with his or her findings.
We love seeing beautiful and healthy smiles and if you are one of the lucky few that have never had a cavity, definitely give yourself a pat on the back! We want to partner with you long term, to ensure a bright and healthy dental future and help you keep that spotless record!