You brush twice a day, floss once each day, and nothing hurts. Why should you go to the dentist? You may be able to think of lots of reasons to skip your routine checkup or cleaning, but there are several important reasons to not skip that appointment.
Dr. Ana Chester and the staff at Chester Family Dentistry understand that coming to the dentist for cleanings and exams can be a chore you’d rather avoid, or one that you dread. We do everything we can to make your visits with us as easy as possible, because we know just how essential regular, professional dental care is to maintain excellent oral health.
Here are a few of the reasons you should come for your routine appointments.
Treat cavities while they’re small
You’ve probably known since you were a child that cavities need to be detected and treated (and the earlier the better). You may even have an outstanding oral hygiene routine in an effort to avoid developing cavities.
Even so, bacteria can hide between your teeth and lead to a buildup of plaque and tartar that even the most conscientious brusher and flosser can’t eliminate. Regular cleanings can help you avoid that buildup, and if you do develop a cavity, early treatment limits the damage.
Left untreated, cavities get larger, and a large cavity can cause problems, such as pain, inflammation, and infection. You may need a root canal, or even an extraction. Larger cavities result in more complicated procedures, which cost more and are more traumatic than standard fillings.
If you feel pain or sensitivity, the cavity may already be progressing. The best way to prevent that is by having regular dental exams.
Detect and treat gum disease
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a serious issue and is the leading cause of tooth loss in American adults. Periodontal disease is the result of bacteria and plaque building up around your teeth and gums. If it’s identified early, it can be reversible. During the early stage, gum disease is called gingivitis.
Some of the signs of gingivitis include:
- Swollen gums
- Tender gums
- Gums that bleed when you floss or brush
As gingivitis progresses to gum disease, it can cause damage to your gums and teeth. Eventually, gum disease causes tooth loss.
We can see the earliest signs of gum disease, which gives you the best chance at avoiding tooth loss or other damage. Regular cleanings help prevent gingivitis, and routine checkups detect any potential issues.
Screen for oral cancer
According to the American Cancer Society, roughly 50,000 adults are diagnosed with oral cancer annually. Oral cancer is rare but serious because it’s difficult to treat. That means that finding it as early as possible is especially important. We screen for oral cancer during routine visits.
We know that life gets busy, and it’s easy to push your routine dental visits to the backburner. Don’t worry if it’s been a while since you’ve been to the dentist. We’re always happy to see you, and we want to help you maintain your oral health. Schedule your appointment today!