5 Reasons Your Dental Checkup Matters

If you’re like many people, going to the dentist for a checkup may not be high on your list of priorities. Maybe you’re nervous, or maybe you just think you’ll be fine visiting the dentist every few years.

If you value your oral health, this is a dangerous line of thinking. The point of dental checkups is not just to clean your teeth and treat problems, it’s to prevent problems from occurring in the first place.

At The Wilhelm Dental Group in La Plata, Maryland, Eric Wilhelm, DDS, and John Wilhelm, DDS, and their expert team know the value of regular dental checkups. In this blog, The Wilhelm Dental Group lists five reasons why dental checkups should matter to you.

1. Find and prevent cavities

The first question most people ask of someone who went to the dentist is, “Do you have any cavities?” If you’re seeing a dentist regularly and practicing good oral hygiene, your teeth should stay fairly healthy. By getting regular checkups, your dentist can spot problem areas where you may need to spend more time cleaning at home. 

Furthermore, if your dentist finds a cavity, it can be caught early. And the sooner you address the cavity, the less damage there will be to your tooth. You don’t want to let cavities grow, because the consequences will be more severe. You could even lose a tooth.

2. Remove plaque and tartar

Plaque is caused by bacteria from food that sticks to your teeth. If plaque stays on your teeth long enough, it can harden into tartar, which can compromise your oral health by leading to inflammation, tooth decay, and gum disease. The only good way to remove tartar is with the tools and experience of a dental hygienist. 

3. Prevent gum disease

Preventing gum disease, or periodontitis, is just as important as preventing tooth decay. Gum disease occurs when the toxins from the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums. During your checkup, your dentist will check the health of your gums by measuring how well your gums are attached to your teeth. They can then track your gum health by comparing measurements at subsequent visits.

4. Keep your teeth healthy

If you want to keep your natural teeth as long as possible, you should make sure to attend your regularly scheduled checkups. The longer you go between dental visits, the higher the likelihood will be that something major will be wrong with your teeth. 

If your dentist spots a problem early, they can easily take care of it. If you don’t go to the dentist for years, one or more teeth may have so much damage that replacing them is the only option.

5. Prevent cancer

Believe it or not, your dentist doesn't just look at your teeth when you visit. Your dentist also searches for signs of oral cancer. Many people don’t know that more than 53,000 people get oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers in the United States every year, leading to almost 11,000 deaths annually. Your dentist will also examine your head and neck during your checkup, which can bring to light other health issues, such as problems with your lymph nodes.

If you haven’t had a dental appointment in years or you're ready for your next checkup, The Wilhelm Dental Group can help. Book an appointment online or over the phone today.

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