Dental Exams: Are They That Important?
You know the expectation: you should be seeing the dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning. Whether or not you actually do that is a whole other story, though, and the numbers speak more to the contrary.
Only about 65 percent of Americans make it to the dentist twice a year, leaving about one third of us who don’t bother getting in on the action. At Creating Smiles we don’t like those numbers – they’re far too low for such an essential part of healthcare!
Why Dental Exams Matter
Think about your oral health routine: do you brush twice a day and floss every evening? A surprising amount of people don’t, but even if you’re perfectly diligent you’re still not keeping your smile completely clean.
There are nooks and crannies all over your mouth, and a lot of them simply can’t be reached through normal at-home oral care. When you go to the dentist for an exam and cleaning you’re getting professional attention to those trouble spots that’s sure to turn the tables on plaque bacteria.
The average adult has over 300 strains of oral bacteria living in their mouth, and many of those strains are dangerous to your health. They build up on your teeth and turn sugar into acid that eats away at your enamel, all while trying to find a way to get beneath your gums and cause gum disease.
It’s not just gum disease, decay, and tooth loss that are caused by oral bacteria, either. Bleeding caused by gum disease allows oral bacteria into your bloodstream, where it can spread around your body. Depending on the strains you carry you could end up suffering from any of the following conditions:
- Heart disease
- Increased stroke risk
- Kidney disease complications
- Esophageal cancer
- Fast-moving Alzheimer’s
- Breast Cancer
- Pancreatic Cancer
As if losing your teeth wasn’t bad enough, imagine if you were affected by
one of those conditions because of poor oral health!
Are Cleanings Every Six Months Necessary?
Some people still question the need for six month exams, and it’s understandable why. They can be inconvenient, expensive, and uncomfortable, but that doesn’t change the fact that six months is the ideal window for dental care.
Oral health problems move slowly, and if we see you every six months we’ll be able to identify possible issues in their earliest stages. This not only keeps your mouth healthier, but it also prevents expensive restorative work later on. Treating oral health problems when they’re in their infancy makes all the difference in the world!
We use advanced imaging technology to see every potential problem in your mouth, allowing us to locate and treat problems far sooner than we were able to in the past. Your mouth might feel, and look, fine but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing waiting to surprise you!
How To Maintain A Healthy Mouth
The cleanings and exams we provide at our St John and Valparaiso offices are essential, but there’s only the foundation that you build your oral day-to-day oral health routine on. If you want to keep your smile looking good for life you need to be sure that you’re doing the right thing for it every single day.
Make sure you’re brushing twice daily. You should always use a soft bristled brush, and don’t press too hard – the brush itself should be doing most of the work. Also be sure that you’re using a toothpaste that contains fluoride, which can rebuild damaged enamel.
Floss every night – no exceptions. The sticky film that builds up on the surfaces of your teeth is building up between them as well, and it’s full of harmful bacteria. You need to be getting rid of it every day because it only needs 24 hours to start causing gum irritation!
If you couple those good home care habits with twice annual checkups you should keep your smile in good shape for years and years to come. Having a healthy mouth isn’t difficult, but it does take a healthy sense of discipline!
Don’t Wait For Things To Go Bad
The worst thing you can do for your oral health is to wait until you have a serious problem before seeking treatment. Get a jump on a lifetime of good oral health by scheduling an appointment at Healthy Smiles today!
You can reach our St John office at 219-322-9920 and our Valparaiso office at 219-462-1970. You can also save time and request an appointment online. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Creating Smiles, PC, located in St. John and Valparaiso, Indiana, offers everything you need for a healthy smile and a healthier life. Dr. Kapers and his team can take the anxiety and uncertainty out of dental visits with sedation dentistry, and we're the premier provider of dental implants in the region.