Today’s focus is on overall wellness, but in our quest to balance our physical and mental health, we frequently overlook our oral hygiene.
Taking care of your mouth at the source is crucial. Your oral health can impact your physical health, causing painful cavities and gum disease that lead to dangerous medical conditions. And when your teeth are discolored or decayed, it has a direct effect on your self-esteem.
The importance of caring for your teeth begins at home, but it extends to regular dental checkups. But if you’re taking care of your teeth effectively, do you really need to see the dentist? The answer to this question is an emphatic yes, and we’ll explain why it’s so vital to have regular checkups in this blog.
1. An Ounce of Dental Prevention Saves a Pound of Cavities
Maybe that’s not how the actual saying goes, but it still applies. It’s better to go to the dentist to prevent cavities than to be forced to go to handle a painful toothache.
When you go to the dentist for regular checkups, you get the benefit of a professional cleaning. The hygienist uses special tools and cleaning pastes to ensure you leave the office with your teeth feeling fresh and smooth. But it does more than that. The techniques get rid of any debris and particles hiding in your gums and between your teeth.
During your cleaning, the professionals look for signs of potential enamel and gum problems. Catching issues like tooth decay or gingivitis early is important because you may be able to treat them quickly. If you wait until the problem is more advanced, the solution becomes more expensive — and likely more painful.
2. Your Dentist Can Help Your Overall Health
Your body’s systems are interconnected in various ways, and your dentist knows those that are connected to your oral health. During your exam, they’ll watch for signs of cavities, gum disease, dry mouth, or oral cancer. These are all health concerns that, if left untreated, can lead to more serious complications.
For instance, gum disease is connected to medical disorders like heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Your dentist can also catch signs of bruxism, a sleep disorder characterized by jaw clenching and teeth grinding. This condition often brings with it damaged enamel, tooth decay, cracked and broken teeth, and side effects like headaches and facial muscle pain. If your dentist catches it before you do, they may recommend a custom-fit night guard, like those available from JS Dental Lab, to reduce the grinding damage.
Although your dentist went to school for an oral health specialty, much of that training included learning how to recognize the conditions linked to the mouth. Because of this, just as your physician’s wellness checkups are necessary to your overall health, so are your preventive dental visits.
3. Your Teeth Stay Healthier, and You Stay Happier
Research shows that a person’s smile has a substantial impact on their confidence. When your smile is healthy, it boosts your self-confidence in social situations. But when you’re insecure about your teeth due to discoloration, decay, missing teeth, or other dental issues, it can cause you to feel self-conscious.
When someone isn’t happy with their smile, it often leads to problems with confidence in the workplace, with relationships, and in performing daily activities.
If you’ve always had healthy teeth, you may not instantly connect your smile with your confidence level. But when you start to notice chips, cracks, discolorations, or crooked teeth, it’s common to try to hide your smile. Over time, this plays a role in how you view yourself.
However, what you may not realize is that there are many marvels in dentistry that can fix or hide many of these dental imperfections. Regular dental checkups can prevent them from getting worse, but if they’re already there, talk to your dentist about the options you have to get your healthy, happy smile back. You might be surprised at how affordable some of these cosmetic corrections are today.
Keeping your mouth healthy is vital if you want the rest of your body to be in good shape, too. Most dentists recommend regular checkups every six months, but if it’s been a while since you’ve gone for a visit, you may need to go a little more often to get any problems under control.
Work with your dentist to come up with a treatment plan for your dental needs, and stick to it. With professional care and regular checkups, you can have a healthy smile and all the benefits that come with it, too!