Appointments

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Dental Checkups

When you go to the dentist, you know that he checks for cavities and gum disease and cleans your teeth. But there are many other aspects to your dental checkup that you may not be aware of. While going to the dentist might not be fun it is vital to your health.

1. Dentists Check for Cancer
One thing that you probably didn’t know is when your doctor is poking and prodding in your mouth, they are also looking for signs of cancer. Oral cancer is a very real threat and it is important to look for potentially worrisome signs at every checkup.

2. Dental Health is linked to Overall Health
When your dentist checks your mouth for cavities, gum disease, plaque, and other such things she’s not only taking care of your oral health, they are taking care of your overall health. If you have a type of gum disease or you have decaying teeth, like a cavity, it’s possible that if left untreated these things can lead to serious problems in your overall health. If you think about it, your mouth is a gateway to the rest of your body. Whatever you swallow goes into the rest of your body, including oral bacteria.

3. Bad Breath Can Be Helpful
Sometimes people who are about to go to the dentist decide that chewing gum, rinsing with mouthwash, or brushing their teeth is just the polite thing to do. While you don’t want to go to the dentist right after you have garlic chicken wings, you don’t want to mask your mouth’s natural breath odor, either.

Why? Because breath odor is more than just offensive, it’s also a key to whether or not you have dental hygiene problems. Sometimes the easiest way for a dentist to tell if you have potential problems is by smelling your breath.

The Sooner the Appointment, the Easier the Treatment
Whether it’s denial or an actual belief that things will just get better, dental problems are unlike the common cold in that they don’t just go away over time. In fact, without proper treatment dental problems simply continue to get worse. Whether the problem is a cavity, a toothache, or gum sensitivity, don’t put it off. Nobody likes to go to the dentist, but the sooner you go, the less painful the treatment will be.

That Toothbrush is Given For a Reason
Did you know that your dentist doesn’t give you a toothbrush every visit just to be nice or promote a brand? In fact, your toothbrush should be changed out every three months, so you should need a new one by the time you go to the dentist again. In fact, you should have been through two toothbrushes between visits. So your dentist is giving you that free toothbrush because you actually need it. If you have gingivitis or another bacterial disease, you need to switch out that brush every 4 to 6 weeks.

Your dental exam is more important than you might think. Make sure that you are setting appointments every six months so your dentist can maintain adequate care of your oral health and prevent serious illness and damage from occurring. Finally, always brush and floss at night even if you forget to brush in the morning. Nighttime is when the bacteria in your mouth are most active and can cause cavities, infection, and other problems, so always go to sleep with a clean mouth.