Are Dental Check-Ups Really That Important?

As a kid you hopefully went to the dentist twice a year. During your dental visit you probably got a cleaning, maybe some x-rays, an exam from your dentist, and a bag with everything from stickers and toy to some floss and a toothbrush. As adults it can be very tempting to skip the dentist. Children go through a lot of changes in their dental health. A first set of teeth erupt, those teeth loosen and fall out, a second set of teeth come-in, and there are often questions about whether or not wisdom teeth will need to be removed. But as adults our mouths don’t seem to change as much. And we might feel more confident in our ability to brush and floss than when we were younger. Plus, you might have a negative experience with a dentist when you were young. All of that together can make it pretty easy for adults to wonder; do they really need to see a dentist? Millions of adults report skipping the dentist, but that is not recommended. 

Dental problems have two unique factors that can set you up for failure. First dental issues get worse over time, so early catches are the best method for protecting your mouth. Second, you might not even notice the issue because our teeth do not do a great job of telling us when there are problems. In this article we will discuss the importance of routine exams for adults. If you live in Chicago and need to see a dentist, please contact us. 

What Happens At A Dental Check-up

Every service that happens at a dental check-up can be broken into two main categories: preventative treatments and examination. During your dental check-up you will receive procedures that help prevent problems from arising in the future. Something that many dental patients might overlook is just how important these treatments are. While brushing and flossing are extremely important daily activities, they cannot do everything. Plaque and tartar that begin to fuse to the surface of the teeth can only be removed by a trained dental team with dental instruments. Removal of plaque and tartar can prevent cavities, decay, and most importantly gum disease. 

Additionally, during a routine visit you will get an exam. An exam can include a visual exam from your dentist as well as X-rays to check between your teeth and beneath your gums. Our teeth do a terrible job of alerting us to issues. By the time serious symptoms arise, there has likely been months of decay and damage. This is because the nerves for our teeth are very deep. Like with any health concern, catching issues early leads to better treatment options and outcomes. Tooth loss often starts with gum disease and decay that could have just been a simple filling months prior. 

If I Have Never Had Cavities, Do I Really Need A Dentist?

Yes. Two of the most common misconceptions about needing a dentist are that nothing seems wrong or that nothing has ever been wrong in the past. Adults will frequently site either reason as the reason they stopped going to the dentist. Both aren’t great reasons. Just because you did not have cavities growing up doesn’t mean one won’t form later on. Again even if you are brushing and flossing every single day you can still have tartar build up that leads to decay in the future. Another common misconception is only paying attention to tooth health. Many patients will hear that they don’t have any cavities as a clean bill of oral health. But while your teeth might not have issues, if your gums have problems it can lead to serious issues in the future including tooth loss. Many people who are consistent with brushing their teeth might not have cavities, but end up having issues with gum disease because of how they floss (or rather don’t floss). Gum disease is just as serious as dental decay. 

Schedule Routine Dental Appointments in Chicago

We cannot understate how important two dental visits a year are for every single patient regardless of age, previous dental health, or other factors. When you see a dentist twice a year, you ensure that decay doesn’t have long periods of time to go unchecked. If you live in the Chicago area, please contact us to set up a dental visit.