A stitch in time saves nine.
Don’t cry over spilled milk.
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
These old sayings have lasted because their wisdom rings true. They offer sage advice about procrastination, letting go, and being grateful. Little did you know they also teach you about good dental hygiene.
An ounce of prevention can apply to pretty much every facet of life–homework, taking vitamins, even mowing your lawn. But when you find yourself holding your sore jaw and staring at a huge dental bill, this saying might be ringing in your ears in an especially poignant way.
A comprehensive preventive dental exam is a part of well-rounded dental care services and can help you avoid that scenario altogether. We’ve gathered the top five reasons it is worth making an appointment today even if your mouth seems to be in perfect condition.
1. Gum Care
Our gums often get ignored in our dental hygiene routine. We focus on those pearly whites while that pink gum line gets the shaft. But, that can cause real problems down the road.
When not cleaned properly, the gum line can trap bits of food and bacteria, which then create inflammation. If that inflammation is left untreated, it can cause pain, bleeding, and a receding gum line. Receding gums can mean loose teeth or decay.
Have we made our case?
A preventive checkup can spot problems that you might miss, give a good cleaning, and help you learn how to care for them better on your own.
2. Deep Cleaning
Even if you have great dental health habits, there are nooks and crannies that you’ll miss. A preventive exam will include a thorough cleaning. They can remove plaque build-up on your teeth in those hard to reach corners of your mouth. Not only does this plaque give a yellow tint to your mouth, but plaque on your teeth increases the chances of plaque in other parts of your body–such as your arteries.
3. Oral Cancer Screening
Cancer is a scary word. No one wants to face it in any form. While oral cancer is not as common as other cancers, it still happens. And, like in every kind of cancer, early detection gives you your best shot at successful treatment.
The dentist can spot signs that you might miss or dismiss as cold sores or innocent small lumps. Your risk for oral cancer increases with the use of alcohol or tobacco. If you use either of those regularly, then a preventive screening is even more valuable.
4. Bite Analysis and TMJ Screening
We often look at our teeth and think everything is fine as long as they are (mostly) white, basically straight, and cavity-free. But our teeth are just one part of our mouth team, and the whole team needs to work together for success. The team needs to be able to speak, chew, and swallow successfully! That means the jaw, tongue, cheeks, and teeth all work together.
A bite analysis checks in on that. It allows the dentist to measure the stability of your teeth and the force of your bite. They want to make sure the force is evenly distributed amongst your teeth, so one side isn’t wearing down faster than the other. Again, this can spot problems in the future that could be both painful and expensive.
What is TMJ? It is the temporal mandibular joint, and you generally won’t notice it until it starts clicking, popping, or causing pain. A preventive exam includes feeling your jaw muscles as you open and close your mouth. They are trained to notice tensions or clicks that you might have stopped noticing. Not only can this spot problems early, but some treatments can bring you relief from inexplicable headaches.
5. Danger Zones
A preventive dental exam will include an x-ray and a basic dental exam. This combination will capture cavities and spot trouble spots. If there are nooks and crannies where things are getting trapped, the dentist can flush them out and fill them so food can’t get stuck in the future.
The dentist will also poke around and find soft spots that could become danger zones if left unattended. These spots aren’t cavities yet, but they could become cavities down the road. Once you know about them, then you will know to give those areas extra attention when brushing, flossing, and rinsing. That little bit of extra attention can keep them from becoming cavities in the future, saving you both money and discomfort.
You don’t want cavities. Your preventive care dentist in Marietta or Douglasville doesn’t want you to have cavities either. As fun as root canals might seem, there are more delightful ways to spend your money and your afternoon. Checking in regularly gives you peace of mind and a heads-up on problems that could cause you and your wallet pain down the road.
Regular dental checkups and exams are essential for maintaining good oral health. A comprehensive dental exam is an extensive evaluation of your teeth, gums, and oral cavity, providing invaluable insights into overall well-being. It outlines the top reasons to get such an exam, such as detecting and preventing oral diseases like cavities, gum disease, and cancer; additionally, it emphasizes the significance of addressing dental issues early on because untreated problems could develop into more severe cases in the future.