If you’re wondering how important regular dental check-ups are, you’re not alone. Although Dr. McLeod and the rest of our Newberg Family Dental team highly recommend our patients visit us twice a year, you may wonder if it’s worth your time. Here are five important reasons why you should see a dentist regularly.
Minimize Tooth Decay
Daily brushing and flossing are the most important things you can do at home to prevent the development of tooth decay and gum disease, but even if you’re a diligent brusher you can fail to adequately clean certain areas of your mouth. This can lead to a buildup of plaque, a clear, sticky biofilm made up of harmful oral bacteria and food particles. Plaque then builds up on the surface of your teeth, transforming and hardening into tartar. Over time, the harmful bacteria in plaque and tartar can eat holes in your teeth, causing permanent damage and cavities.
Prevent Gum Disease
Not only that, plaque and tartar irritate and inflame your gum tissue, which can lead to the development of early-stage gum disease known as gingivitis. When allowed to progress, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease. During each dental visit, a hygienist will clean and polish your teeth, removing any plaque and tartar buildup. They will also check your gum health and let you know if they see any signs of disease.
Protect Your Smile
There are a variety of everyday habits that can stress or stain your teeth over time, from drinking coffee or red wine to nail biting. If you’re unhappy with your smile, your regular dental visit is a good opportunity to speak with your dentist about cosmetic procedures, like clear aligners and professional teeth whitening. Since not everyone is a good candidate for these procedures, your dentist can provide recommendations based on your specific needs and goals. Dr. McLeod offers a wide range of services that will help brighten your smile.
Save Some Money
When left untreated, most oral health problems become more expensive to deal with. For example, what starts as a small cavity can become progressively bigger, requiring a cap or crown or even a root canal to fix instead. By visiting the dentist regularly, you can avoid the more expensive procedures that are required to repair a problem that has spiraled out of control.
Screen for Oral Cancer
This is cancer that can develop in any part of the mouth, including the lips, gums, tongue and inner cheeks. Because it usually doesn’t present with easy-to-recognize symptoms, oral cancer can develop before you even realize something is wrong. Fortunately, dentists are trained to spot early signs of oral cancer. At each visit, Dr. McLeod will check your head and lymph nodes, palate, cheeks and tongue for any sign of cancer.
Due for a check-up? Contact us today to schedule your next appointment at our office in Newberg, Oregon.