A 2010 report published by Health Canada revealed that 75 per cent of Canadians visited their dentist annually and 86 per cent went at least once every two years. But how often should you really go to see your dentist? Once a year might not be often enough.
The general recommendation is that you see your dentist at least twice a year. Some persons, who are at risk for certain conditions may need to see the dentist more frequently.
Let’s look at some reasons regular dental checkups are important.
Prevent tooth decay
According to the Canadian Dental Association, dental caries (which includes all stages of tooth decay) is the most common chronic disease in the world. This preventable condition presents a major public health challenge.
You may feel that you do not need to see your dentist very often because you take excellent care of your teeth at home. Even so, it is possible for you to have cavities and not be aware. Cavities can appear anywhere on the surface of teeth. While you might not notice these cavities, your dentist will be able to identify and treat them. This lowers your chances of losing teeth to decay.
Other issues like periodontitis can also cause you to lose teeth. Periodontitis is a condition where the areas around the teeth become inflamed. This gum infection can result in damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. When the disease reaches an advanced stage the bone will no longer be able to hold the teeth in place.
Regular professional cleaning, done at your dentist’s office, can help prevent cavities, periodontitis and other conditions.
Improve your overall health and well-being
There is a strong relationship between your oral health and overall health. Improper oral care can lead to serious diseases. An unhealthy mouth can significantly increase your risk of heart disease or stroke, and can even cause issues with fertility or miscarriages and preterm labour in women who are already pregnant. It can also lead to the worsening of existing conditions, such as diabetes.
With the help of your dentist, improving your oral health will cause you to lead a healthier life.
Identify early cancer risks
Visiting your dentist regularly increases the likelihood of early detection of oral cancer. There is a great chance of successful treatment of oral cancer if it is discovered in the early stages. As it progresses, the condition becomes more and more life-threatening. You may not be able to recognize the early signs of oral cancer, but your dentist can.
Your dentist will also check your neck, jaw and lymph nodes which can also help to identify the signs of other cancers and abnormalities.
Regular preventive care—including routine visits to, and treatment by a dentist, as well as proper dental practices at home—can help you avoid extensive dental procedures. Extensive procedures (such as root canals, bridges and implants, or gum surgery) can be extremely costly, even with insurance.
Every dollar you spend on preventive dental care can save you much more in restorative and emergency treatments. The economic benefits of preventative dental care also extend beyond savings in treatment costs. Advanced dental problems can result in loss of productivity through days missed from work or days of reduced activity. Recent studies have shown that in Canada, oral diseases account for productivity losses valued at over one billion dollars annually; so says the Canadian Dental Association.
With such a strong case to support visiting your dentist more often, what’s preventing you from scheduling your next appointment?
At Newton Village Dental Clinic, we’d love to help you keep your mouth in the best of health. So if you are in Surrey and looking for a dentist near you, contact us today!