It’s easy to forget about prevention and maintenance when it comes to our health. Our lives are busy, and there’s always last minute emergencies. Sometimes, prevention, or “routine visits” just falls off the to-do list. But, once we have a health problem … we wish we had done a little “prevention.” This is just human nature, and this especially true of dental health.
Reminders are Important. Do you ever notice that little reminder that your 6-month appointment is coming up? We send them out to our patients, and your other doctors probably do as well by postcard, a text message, or even a phone call. These little reminders are important, especially when our lives become busy. It’s important to schedule and keep your 6-month dental appointments because preventative treatments provide several really important benefits to you, and your teeth.
Here are just a few benefits of routine preventative visits:
1. You may have a small cavity. Small cavities turn into large cavities (which could turn into bigger problems). A regular dental check-up will identify any cavities and we can put you on a treatment plan, or fill the cavities before they get worse.
2. You may be brushing wrong. Proper brushing technique is important. We can tell if your toothbrush bristles are too hard or if you consistently miss a spot. Bad brushing can lead to gum disease, cavities… and worse.
3. You could have a more serious health problem. Oral health and heart disease have a strong relationship. The spread of bacteria and germs from the mouth to other parts of your body are delivered through the blood stream. When these bacteria reach the heart, they could cause inflammation. Inflammation of the heart could lead to an infection of the inner lining of the heart called endocarditis. The American Heart Association warns that atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) and stroke have also been linked to inflammation caused by oral bacteria. That’s right, your dental health can affect your chance of a heart attack or stroke! It is important to have a professional check the state of your mouth because as it’s a window into your overall health.
4. We can get to the hard spots. There are just some teeth in some mouths that are hard to reach. We can help ensure that each tooth gets the attention it deserves, and we can also show you some tips on how to clean each one property at home – even the hard-to-reach ones!
What “prevention can I do at home?” You may be doing some prevention and not see it as that. Remember to brush and floss your teeth daily. Use a fluoride toothpaste with the ADA seal. Regular brushing really is the most important part of preventative dentistry! Also, eat a balanced diet—foods that are healthy and varied are good for you and your teeth. And if you play sports, remember that mouthguard!
Remember, with proper care and preventative maintenance, you will have a healthy smile, for a lifetime!