Did you know that visiting a dentist once every six months may help cut the risks of tooth decay? At least, that’s what health experts found, which should be enough reason to believe it. According to them, patients who had such habits had fewer decayed, filled, or missing teeth.
It’s definitely a smart idea to take a page out of those patients’ books, seeing as dental woes are expensive. By saying hello to your dentist now (and after every six months), you can keep most dental diseases at bay. As a result, you may end up spending less on restorative dental procedures.
To that end, we came up with this guide on how regular dental visits can help you save on health care costs. Read on to discover the health and financial benefits of preventive dentistry services.
1. Keep Your Pearly Whites Free of Cavity-Causing Tartar
Most oral healthcare professionals recommend brushing for at least two minutes. According to them, this can remove at least 26% more plaque than brushing for only 45 seconds.
However, even proper brushing and flossing practices aren’t enough to eliminate all plaque. Over time, the left-over bits and layers of plaque harden into tartar.
Tartar, also known as dental calculus, hastens and promotes new plaque formations. It also makes it more difficult to remove existing plaque. In addition, it causes teeth discoloration, and in severe cases, gum irritation.
Moreover, brushing and flossing aren’t enough to get rid of tartar. Only specialized dental tools, like probes and scalers, can remove these crusty deposits. These are the tools often used by dentists to carry out dental prophylaxis.
In any case, dental calculus is a leading cause of tooth decay and gum problems. For that reason, it’s best to go for a dental visit and undergo prophylaxis once every six months.
2. Prevent or Treat Tooth Decay Before It Worsens
Researchers estimate the global economic burden of dental caries to be $245 billion. Direct treatment costs account for about two-thirds ($161 billion) of that amount. The rest is for indirect productivity losses.
Tooth decay can lead to loss of productivity because it can cause severe pain. In some cases, the teeth and gums can become infected and require complex surgeries. Surgical procedures can, in turn, cause a patient to take a day or two off of work or school.
Such incidents are avoidable with preventive dental care, such as the aforementioned prophylaxis. Moreover, regular dental visits allow dentists to look for early signs of cavities. If they see a few, they can then administer proper treatment right away, keeping the decay at bay.
It’s also worth noting that toothaches don’t immediately occur if you have caries. In many cases, the pain only arises once the cavity is big and deep enough to affect the nerves. If this happens, you may have to undergo more expensive restorative procedures.
By contrast, a preventive dentistry check-up costs far less than dental fillings. Some health insurance plans may even cover at least one dental exam each year. If you have a private dental insurance plan, then better, as you may get a free check-up once every six months.
In any case, regular dental visits can help you avoid costly procedures and downtime.
3. Keep Your Gums Pink and Healthy
About one in two US adults aged 30 and older have some form of gum disease. Also known as periodontitis, gum disease is often a result of untreated plaque and tartar. That’s because they can form below the gum line and irritate or infect the soft tissues.
All that should be enough reason to get regular dental check-ups and cleanings. By keeping your mouth free of plaque and tartar, you can also safeguard your gums from disease.
4. Avoid Premature Tooth Loss
Tooth decay and gum disease are the leading causes of tooth loss. Lost or missing tooth, in turn, affects at least 178 million people in the US. An estimated 40 million even have no natural teeth left.
Granted, there are now many tooth replacement options, from dentures to implants. However, these are expensive; a single implant can already set you back $3,000 to $4,500! So, imagine how much more it would cost you to replace more than one lost or missing tooth.
That’s why your goal should be to preserve as many of your natural teeth as possible. Routine dental care, including check-ups and cleanings, can help you achieve this goal.
5. Catch and Treat Malocclusion Before It Causes More Damage
Children and teen braces help correct misaligned teeth and jaws. These misalignments, also known as malocclusions, can take the form of a bad bite or crooked teeth. While some think they’re mere aesthetic problems, they can actually have health implications.
For example, crooked teeth have nooks and crannies that are harder to clean. As a result, they may be more prone to cavity-causing plaque and tartar build-up.
A bad bite can be just as bad as it can lead to temporomandibular joint (TMD) disorders. Experts also say it may contribute to gum disease or obstructive sleep apnea. Severe malocclusion can also affect and alter the structure of the face.
If you’re an adult with malocclusion, don’t worry; adult orthodontics are available. In fact, you’re not alone, as one in four of today’s orthodontic patients are already adults.
6. Identify Problems Outside of the Mouth
Health experts refer to the mouth as the gateway to the body. Some also say that oral health is the window to overall health.
One reason is that the state of the mouth can indicate other existing illnesses, such as diabetes. That’s right: dentists can identify diabetes and prediabetes by testing the gums.
Another disease that preventive dental visits may help protect you from is pneumonia. That’s because bacteria that cause this infection can be present in the mouth. As a result, folks who regularly visit their dentist may have lower risks of pneumonia.
Preserve Your Healthy Pearly Whites For Life by Regularly Visiting a Dentist
There you have it, your ultimate guide on the benefits of visiting a dentist regularly. As you can see, it’s a preventive dental technique that can help protect you from tooth decay and gum disease. What’s more, it can help with the early diagnosis of other illnesses, such as diabetes.
So, as early as now, schedule a date with your general or family dentist! After that, visit them at least once every half a year.
Ready for more health and wellness hacks? Then feel free to browse our site for other helpful guides!