You know you should visit your dentist at least twice a year for cleaning and check-ups. But when life gets busy, it can seem tough to fit in the time for those dental visits—especially when there doesn't 'feel' like anything is wrong. "How bad could it be?" you wonder, to skip the appointment just this once. Before you decide to go without, you should consider the real benefits of getting regular dental check-ups. You might conclude that devoting a bit of your time to dental care is a wise investment after all.
Boost your health and well-being
A healthy mouth is a good investment in your overall health. Keeping your teeth and gums intact is a first line of defence—would you believe that up to 120 different diseases can be detected by changes in your mouth? With regular examinations, your dentist can identify early warning signs so you can get treatment started right away.
The fact that good oral hygiene and dental maintenance can extend your life expectancy might be hard to believe, but it is true. Good dental health adds to life in a number of ways that go beyond just the teeth:
- It prevents gum disease—which can be a side effect of another systemic condition as well as heighten the disease process of other conditions through the release of inflammatory mediators into the bloodstream.
- It prevents heart disease—controlling the bacterial build up in your mouth stops it from travelling to the heart tissue where it triggers cardiac inflammation—the start of heart disease & one of Australia's biggest killers.
- It decreases the risk of oral cancer —the presence of chronic gum inflammation (periodontitis) may leave the mouth more vulnerable to invasion by a virus that can cause cancers of the head and neck. (Ref). Researchers have also found a link between high levels of dental plaque—the cause of gum disease—and dying from cancer up to 13 years earlier than previously expected.
- It increases early detection of cancers and other systemic conditions, thus improving
a person's overall prognosis.
If you have a chronic condition, such as heart disease or diabetes, it's extremely important to get regular cleanings and check ups. By getting regular dental care, you can reduce your risk of contracting these conditions, and make them easier to manage if you already have them.
Save time and money
A stitch in time saves money! Research has shown that people with chronic conditions who get regular dental care not only lowered their risk score and reduced their illness burden, they also had lower healthcare costs overall.
Taking care of small problems when they are revealed through dental check-ups—or better yet, preventing such problems with education for your hygienist—means that you can usually avoid dealing with more complex (and more expensive) issues later on. Over a lifetime, having regular dental cleanings and check-ups means less pain and discomfort, less out of pocket expense, less time spent in the dentist's chair and more healthy teeth. And that adds up to even more good things to smile about!
Enhance your appearance
Few things enhance your appearance more than a clean, bright smile—and nothing detracts like a mouth full of stained teeth and unhealthy gums. If maintaining your appearance is important to you, then getting a regular dental cleaning and check-up should be a top priority.
A professional cleaning with a hygienist will remove those coffee, tea, wine or tobacco stains from your teeth. With fresh, clean teeth you'll feel much more like smiling! More importantly, the cleaning will remove plaque before it builds up and leads to cavities, gum recession and tooth loss.
Don't forget your breath! While it's not strictly a part of your appearance, having fresh breath is an essential part of feeling confident as you go about your day. The bacteria that cause tooth decay also cause bad breath or halitosis, so by removing the bacteria, dental cleanings are effective at preventing and controlling this problem.
That's why at Bite Dental our team of dentists and hygienists allow full hour appointments to not only thoroughly debride and polish your teeth above and below the gumline; they complete an oral cancer screening, jaw joint and posture assessment, soft and hard tissue examination; as well as providing you with all the information and instruction you need to manage your oral health at home. It's more than just your teeth in there!