Getting your teeth cleaned twice a year may not seem like a priority—you might have to take time off work, you might not have any problems, it feels like twice a year is too often. However, skipping those twice-yearly dental appointments has more of an impact on your oral health than just missing a professional cleaning. Your dentist is a doctor who is trained to identify problems in your mouth long before they become problems. What do you risk when you forgo your bi-annual teeth cleanings?
During your professional cleaning, your dentist may conduct an oral cancer screening. An oral cancer screening involves both a visual and physical exam of your mouth to ensure no signs of oral cancer are present. If you have a sore in your mouth that won’t go away or a lump around your face or neck, you could have oral cancer. A dentist can help identify potential oral cancer. When you skip your cleanings, you miss this important screening that could save your life!
The symptoms of gum disease can be sneaky: bad breath even after brushing or using mouthwash; bleeding while brushing once in a while; gums that look red or irritated. Many people don’t know that common symptoms like bad breath, bleeding while brushing, or red gums could be symptoms of gum disease! Gum disease can progress and eventually lead to tooth loss if not treated. Your dentist can examine your mouth for gum disease during your cleanings—but if you skip these, gum disease could be progressing and be much more difficult to treat!
Research links oral health to physical health! The amount of plaque in your mouth has been linked to the amount of plaque in your arteries. The healthier your mouth, the healthier your heart! Getting professional cleanings twice a year ensure that your mouth is clean and healthy. Your dentist can identify spots you’re missing while brushing or the proper techniques for flossing. When you miss your appointments, these spots keep getting missed and plaque builds up.
Cavities are very common and like gum disease, can progress if left untreated. Cavities can be difficult to notice, especially since they usually start out small. By the time you can see a cavity, it likely needs to be treated with a filling. Skipping your bi-annual teeth cleanings could leave cavities to progress in your mouth. If you consistently miss your dentist appointments, you could have cavities that get so large they’re unable to be treated with a filling—an extraction, root canal, or other form of treatment may be needed.
Scheduling an appointment at your dentist office for a teeth cleaning is easy and the appointment generally doesn’t take long. By keeping up with your oral health, you can ensure your body stays healthy as well as your mouth. You can also prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and catch oral cancer before it progresses. Keep up with your teeth cleanings— they could save your life!