We get it. Most people don’t count going to the dentist among their favourite things to do. And if your teeth look and feel healthy to you, you may be wondering if having a dental visit every six months is worth the hassle. Well, even if your teeth feel fine, there are some very good reasons to see your dentist regularly.
- Screening for oral cancer
Did you know that screenings for oral cancer are part of your regular dental check-ups? Oral cancer is an extremely deadly disease but when it’s caught and treated in the early stages, survival rates increase dramatically.
Your dentist is highly trained in being able to identify early signs of this disease and he or she will use a special tool called a VELscope to catch signs that are invisible to the naked eye. The test takes only a minute or so and it is completely painless – and it can save your life!
- Remove plaque and tartar and fix cavities
Even if you brush and floss religiously, it can be difficult to catch every little spot in your mouth. This can lead to plaque and tartar build up which can be hard to remove on your own. If not removed, plaque and tartar will increase the chances of cavities forming. And if your dentist does find a cavity, they can make another appointment with you to have it fixed to prevent it from getting bigger or from spreading to other teeth.
- Prevent gum disease
Having healthy gums is one of the cornerstones of having healthy teeth. When gums become infected, they can swell or bleed and even cause teeth to become loose. The best way to prevent these severe symptoms is to catch and gum disease in its early stages by keeping your regular dental appointments.
- Use X-Rays to catch problems under the surface
Your dentist uses dental X-rays to catch problems that may not be visible to the naked eye. Issues that may be found by X-ray include impacted wisdom teeth, damage to the jaw, bone decay as well as tumours and cysts.
Finding these problems as early as possible is the best way to ensure that they can be treated properly.
- Head, neck and lymph node check
In addition to examining your teeth, gums and oral issues, your dentist will also check for abnormal growths or swelling around your head, neck and lymph nodes. Swelling of the lymph nodes may not be noticeable to you, but it can be an indication of a serious medical condition.
If your dentist finds anything of concern, they will refer you to the appropriate medical professional.