Any dentist in the country will tell you the same thing: you need to see the dentist twice every single year. But why twice? Dental checkups have many different benefits for your oral health. Some common misconceptions are that they are more necessary for kids or that you should just go to the dentist when you notice an issue. In this article, we will discuss the variety of benefits you can receive from going to a dental office twice a year, what happens during your appointment, and what can happen if you skip the dentist too often. If you need to make an appointment for yourself or a kid in the Chicago area, we would be happy to see you at one of our five offices in the Chicago area. For more information, please give us a call or click below to learn more about our five dental offices.
A common misconception is that if you brush and floss your teeth, you don’t need a dentist, or that regular dental appointments are just for kids because they are primarily for tracking the growing teeth. While it is true that seeing a dentist as a child is very important because your dentist will track how your child’s baby and adult teeth develop, it is important to go as an adult.
Dental visits provide preventative care. Cleanings can remove plaque that cannot be removed with normal brushing and flossing. Dental sealants add an extra layer of dental protection on your most vulnerable teeth. And an exam is the only surefire way to catch early warning signs when they are still warning signs and not problems. When combined with good oral health, seeing a dentist every six months can be the difference between, “we recommend a fluoride toothpaste because we are starting to see the early signs of dental decay” and “we are going to need to do a root canal on that tooth”.
Skipping the dentist can have many negative effects. Unlike a lot of parts of our bodies, our teeth can take a lot of damage without you noticing. If you get a sunburn or have back pain you are aware pretty early and can address it quickly. But one of the reasons going to the dentist proactively matters is because your teeth might not show visual signs of cavities and you might not feel it. Like we said above, unchecked cavities can spread deep into a tooth but also to the surrounding teeth. Caught early, decay might be reversible. A little later and it might just need a filling. Caught later, a root canal. Not caught at all and you will be at the dentist with aa toothache and the tooth might end up needing to be pulled and replaced. Even if you have perfect brushing and flossing habits, nothing beats the importance of preventative care at your dentist.
As we have been saying, you should be going to the dentist at least twice a year. Most dentists will recommend a six month spacing between visits. In terms of when to go during the year it depends on your schedule. For example, many parents schedule their kids to have one visit during summer break and one visit during their winter break. This makes it easy to schedule for the whole family. However, this can also make it really really difficult to get a time since it is the most popular time for families. Alternatively, taking your kids out of school or taking a break from work yourself can always be an added pro to going to the dentist. A break from class and work can help you look forward to the dentist.
Another thing to discuss is when to make a sudden dental appointment. Your teeth do not have a lot of nerves near the surface, so if you are feeling dental pain this is often a sign of an issue deep in the tooth. If your calendar says you aren’t seeing a dentist for three months but you start noticing sore gums, loose fillings, pain and sensitivity, or cracks in your teeth you shouldn’t wait. A quick dental appointment can get problems solved and stop them from progressing.
If you need to see a family dentist in the Chicago area, give us a call or click below to schedule an appointment. It is always recommended that you see a dentist about any questions you have regarding your child’s oral health.