No matter your age, your oral health is important. Regular dental examinations coupled with good oral hygiene can prevent most dental disease. (See our blog on Home Care for more information about oral hygiene.)
Some people need to visit the dentist only once or twice a year for preventative care; others may need to visit more frequently. You are a unique individual, with a unique smile and unique needs when it comes to keeping your smile healthy!
Regular dental visits can help spot oral health problems early on, when treatment is likely to be simpler and more affordable. They also help prevent many oral problems from developing in the first place.
Visiting your dentist regularly is also important because some diseases and medical conditions can have symptoms that appear first in the mouth.
The American Dental Association lists these 15 signs you should see your dentist:
- Your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold
- Your gums are puffy and/or bleed when you brush or floss
- You have fillings, crowns, dental implants, dentures, etc.
- You don’t like the way your smile or teeth look
- You have persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
- You are pregnant
- You have pain or swelling in your mouth, face or neck
- You have difficulty chewing or swallowing
- You have a family history of gum disease or tooth decay
- You have a medical condition such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, eating disorders, or are HIV positive
- Your mouth is often dry
- You smoke or use other tobacco products
- You are undergoing medical treatment such as radiation, chemotherapy or hormone replacement therapy
- Your jaw sometimes pops or hurts when opening and closing, chewing or when you first wake up; or you have an uneven bite
- You have a spot or sore in your mouth that isn’t going away
Even if you don’t have any symptoms, continuity of care is a very important part of any health plan. When your dentist sees you regularly, he is in a good position to catch oral problems early. For instance: catching gum disease when it’s still reversible, or cavities when they are small and more easily treated.
Only your dentist can determine what the best treatment plan is for you. Have questions about your oral health or certain dental procedures? Start a conversation. Ask me to explain step-by-step. We love having satisfied, healthy patients!
In the Fort Smith area and ready for a check-up and cleaning? Contact us today to schedule an appointment!