You hear a lot about self-care these days. As the NY Times describes it, “self-care” is any action that helps to preserve or improve your health. Going for a walk is an act of self-care, as is treating yourself to a massage. Although it might not be as Instagram-worthy as a walk in the woods or as relaxing as a massage, seeing a dental professional for regular checkups and cleanings is another important part of self-care.
Dental checkups are important for people of all ages, from babies just getting their first teeth to older adults hoping to keep as many of their teeth as possible. The benefits of regular preventative dental care extend beyond your mouth, too. A dental professional might be able to detect signs of other medical conditions and refer you to another doctor for treatment.
Take a look at a few of the reasons why regular dental exams and cleanings are important for your overall health.
Dental Checkups Help to Save Your Teeth
How do you know when you have a cavity? In the earliest stages, you might not have any signs or symptoms. But a dental professional will be able to spot and treat a cavity even before it begins to cause you discomfort.
According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), untreated cavities are fairly common in both adults and kids. More than 30 percent of adults between the ages of 20 and 44 have at least one untreated cavity and more than 18 percent of children between the ages of 5 and 19 have at least one untreated cavity.
During a dental checkup, a dental professional will look inside your mouth, looking for signs of decay on the teeth. They might probe the teeth to see if there are any soft areas. Digital x-rays and intraoral cameras can give a dentist a better view of the inside of the mouth, allowing them to spot even the earliest signs of decay.
The sooner tooth decay or cavities are spotted, the better (and less extensive) the treatment can be. You don’t usually need emergency dental help in St. Petersburg, FL, when a cavity is detected early on.
In the earliest stages, it might be possible for a dental professional to use a fluoride treatment to restore the tooth’s enamel and reverse the decay. Cavities that are more advanced usually require a filling.
If a cavity is left alone and progresses, it can do a considerable amount of damage to the tooth, in some cases requiring removal and replacement.
Dental Checkups Help to Spot Gum and Bone Disease Early
Like cavities, gum and bone disease is another dental concern that’s easiest to treat when it’s caught in the earliest stages. Also, like cavities, gum and bone disease might not have any symptoms when it’s in the early stages, meaning that it might take a dental professional to spot it.
During a dental checkup, a professional cleaning can help to remove plaque and tartar on the teeth and below the gumline, reducing the risk of developing gum and bone disease and, in the case of gingivitis, helping to reverse the condition.
Dental Checkups Help Keep the Rest of Your Body Healthy
Regular dental checkups give your dentist a chance to inspect the overall state of your mouth. During an exam, a dental professional is likely to check for signs of oral cancer, look for any signs of broken or chipped teeth, and inspect the bite to make sure that your teeth are aligned. If anything’s amiss, a dental professional can recommend further examination or treatment, depending on the concern.
Your oral health can influence the health of the rest of your body. Thankfully, your dental professional can be part of your medical team when it comes to monitoring any conditions you have and can help detect any oral changes. For example, the American Diabetes Association points out that there is often a connection between gum and bone disease and diabetes. Having diabetes can increase your risk for gum problems and, on the other side of the coin, having gum and bone disease can make it more difficult for you to control your diabetes.
Dental Checkups Can Save You Time and Money
One last reason why regular dental checkups are important: They can help you save time and money. Preventative care appointments often cost less than emergency dental services in St. Petersburg, FL. You’re also able to book them at your convenience at a time that works for your busy schedule.
If you have dental insurance, preventative care appointments are often covered by your policy. If you have insurance, Klement Family Dental is happy to do a complimentary benefits check to find out what services are covered and if our office accepts your plan. If you don’t have insurance, we offer a dental savings plan and financing options. We also accept most major credit cards.