5 Health Benefits of Regular Dental Exams
by Dr. Beau Beecher, DDS on 7/20/2022
It’s not uncommon to have fear about visiting the dentist. In fact, it’s reported that 20% of Americans admit to “never visiting the dentist.” But is it wise to skip your dental exams? Discover why your dental exams are important and why you should get them regularly.
What is a Dental Exam?
A dental exam is a medical check up of your teeth, gums, and mouth. Typically adults and children should get a dental exam every six months.
A dental exam begins with a thorough cleaning of your teeth by a dental assistant or hygienist. Dental cleaning makes it easier to examine your teeth and detect cavities, tartar, and plaque. Special dental tools – scalers, perio probes, and curettes will remove any food particles, especially in between teeth. After these particles are removed, a dental toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste is used to brush your teeth. In the final step, your teeth are polished and flossed.
The next step of your exam is to take X-rays of your mouth. These X-rays give your dentist an in-depth look at the current status of your teeth. It will help detect the presence of gum disease, bone loss, and other oral problems.
Why Dental Exams are Important
Just like you get an annual physical, it’s vital for your oral and overall health to get dental exams. The detailed examination of your teeth can provide treatment for any current painful issues such as cavities or tooth sensitivity. Exams can also help prevent or reduce the risk of experiencing severe oral diseases in the future.
5 Health Benefits of Regular Dental Exams
Because there can be fear associated with going to the dentist, most individuals don't know all of the health benefits of getting regular dental exams. The following are five major benefits of being consistent with your dental checkups.
Early Detection of Cavities
The first and perhaps most obvious benefit is the early detection of cavities. During a dental exam, your dentist will carefully examine your teeth for sensitivity or pain from cavities. X-rays will reveal the presence of current or incoming cavities. Early detection may give you the chance to reverse the cavity with special toothpaste or less invasive procedures.
Gingivitis is a common form of gum disease caused by poor oral hygiene habits. Painful symptoms of gingivitis include swollen gums, bleeding, and irritation. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, a severe stage of gum disease which has been linked to diabetes and heart disease. This is why it’s vital to have dental exams regularly to check for signs of gingivitis.
During your exam, your dentist will carefully inspect your gums to ensure you are not experiencing any symptoms. If gingivitis is present, you’ll be provided with appropriate treatment options.
Early Detection of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is a serious dental disease that can be caused by smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and other factors. At Kimball & Beecher, our skilled dentists are trained to look for even the smallest signs of oral cancer. As with all cancers, the sooner it is caught, the better your chances of eliminating it from your body.
Re-Establish Oral and Hygiene Best Practices
During your cleaning and exam, your dentist can provide best practices for better dental care. Perhaps you consistently miss brushing your back teeth – this can cause tartar buildup or cavities. To prevent these issues, your dentist can advise you to give more attention to your back teeth when brushing. A dental exam is a great way to get tips on how to properly brush and care for your teeth.
Early detection of oral issues can save you thousands of dollars. Prevention is almost always cheaper than treatment. Early treatment is also less intensive and more affordable than trying to treat a disease in its later stages. Your dental exams will help you avoid costly procedures in the future by keeping your teeth, gums, and mouth in healthy condition.
Schedule a Dental Exam at Kimball & Beecher
If you're nervous about visiting the dentist, we don’t judge! Our gentle and friendly Kimball & Beecher staff will help you quickly feel at ease. We’re famous for converting nervous patients into regular visitors with healthier teeth and gums. Don't let fear get the best of your teeth, schedule an appointment with us today.