March 29, 2015 - 11:33am
Many patients think if they are actively brushing and flossing, following all the rules of dental hygiene, then they can skip their semi-annual appointments with the dentist or hygienist. This is not true. Yes, certainly the hygienist cleans teeth. But they do so much more than that.
Reasons to Get to the Hygienist
Good dental hygiene is the foundation of not only a healthy mouth, but also a healthy body. Here are just a few of the reasons you need to keep up with regular dental hygiene appointments. They are to:
Keep Dental Records Up To Date
During your semi-annual visits to the dentist, your dental care provider will check your records and make updates where necessary. Usually, he or she will only take X-rays once a year depending on your history, but can take digital scans or images during every visit to track any problems.
Prevent Oral Cancer
Similarly, your regular appointments are an opportunity for your dental care provider to screen for potentially harmful diseases, especially issues like oral cancer that could lead to more serious health problems. Though the hygienist cannot diagnose oral cancer, he or she can certainly screen for it and get you the help you need if there is ever a concern. Fortunately oral cancer is highly curable as long as providers catch the problem early.
Receive Prophylaxis (Professional Cleaning)
Nothing beats that smooth and fresh feeling you get from a professional dental cleaning. Not only is the hygienist able to remove plaque, but also calcified tartar buildup, something you simply cannot do with a toothbrush. This helps reduce the risk of cavity formation and the necessity of more invasive procedures down the line.
You probably only think exclusively of hygiene when it comes to visiting the hygienist; and no one would blame you. However, there are also some esthetic benefits to regular dental appointments. The hygienist can restore the natural whiteness of your smile. The treatment process and tools hygienists use remove some extrinsic stains that result from tea, coffee, tobacco, wine and other similar staining agents.
Prevent Gum Disease
The hygienist can keep an eye on the health of your gums and connective tissue as long as you keep up regular appointments, or schedule a checkup when you suspect periodontal infection (gum disease). Not only does this condition cause swelling and bleeding gums, but can lead to bad breath, loose teeth, lost teeth and even serious health risks like heart disease.
Reduce the Risk of Tooth Loss
Some people, especially older patients, think tooth loss is just a fact of life. It doesn’t have to be! With proper care your teeth can last a lifetime. Gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults, which is why your routine checkups are so important.
Brush Up on Technique
The hygienist is an expert in patient education. If you routinely miss certain areas when you brush, or use improper technique, he or she can give you some pointers to improve your hygiene routines. How you brush is just as important as how often.
Eliminate Halitosis (Bad Breath)
If your breath is an embarrassment your dental care provider can help either cure or identify the underlying cause. He or she can clean the areas of the mouth where only a professional can reach and remove the odor emitting bacteria. In some cases bad breath isn’t always caused by a dental problem, and in then you would need to consult with a physician to determine if a health condition or medication is to blame.
Keep in mind, the biannual visit is just the minimum for the average person. If you have chronic health problems, braces or are at risk for certain dental issues you might require more visits. Find the right dentist in Eugene, Oregon, for your better smile because it isn’t just about your teeth, but your health and happiness.