5 Things You Didn't Know About Dental Checkups
When you go to the dentist, you know that he checks for
cavities and gum disease and cleans your teeth. But there are many other
aspects to your dental checkup that you may not be aware of. While going to the
dentist might not be fun it is vital to your health and your dentist is doing a
lot more than just checking for holes.
Dentists Check for Cancer
One thing that you probably didn't know is when your doctor
is poking and prodding in your mouth, she's also looking for signs of cancer.
Oral cancer is a very real threat and it is important to look for potentially
worrisome signs at every checkup. While your internist or general practitioner
might look inside your mouth, only your dentist is a specialist in the area of
dental and oral hygiene and only he can do the most thorough job of oral cancer
Dental Health is Linked to Overall Health
When your dentist checks your mouth for cavities, gum
disease, plaque, and other such things she's not only taking care of your oral
health, she's taking care of your overall health. If you have a type of gum
disease or you have decaying teeth, like a cavity, it's possible that if left
untreated these things can lead to serious problems in your overall health,
like heart problems. If you think about it, your mouth is a gateway to the rest
of your body. Whatever you swallow goes into the rest of your body, including
oral bacteria. So when she's scraping and cleaning your dentist is taking care
of far more than just your mouth.
Bad Breath Can Be Helpful
Sometimes people who are about to go to the dentist decide
that chewing gum, rinsing with mouthwash, or brushing their teeth is just the
polite thing to do. While you don't want to go to the dentist right after you
have garlic chicken wings, you don't want to mask your mouth's natural breath
odor, either. Why? Because breath odor is more than just offensive, it's also a
key to whether or not you have dental hygiene problems. Sometimes the easiest
way for a dentist to tell if you have potential problems is by smelling your breath.
So leave the pleasantries aside.
The Sooner the Appointment, the Easier the Treatment
Whether it's denial or an actual belief that things will
just get better, dental problems are unlike the common cold in that they don't
just go away over time. In fact, without proper treatment dental problems
simply continue to get worse. Whether the problem is a cavity, a toothache, or
gum sensitivity, don't put it off. Nobody likes to go to the dentist, but the
sooner you go, the less painful the treatment will be.
That Toothbrush is Given For a Reason
Did you know that your dentist doesn't give you a toothbrush
every visit just to be nice or promote a brand? In fact, your toothbrush should
be changed out every three months, so you should need a new one by the time you
go to the dentist again. In fact, you should have been through two toothbrushes
between visits. So your dentist is giving you that free toothbrush because you
actually need it. If you have gingivitis or another bacterial disease, you need
to switch out that brush every 4 to 6 weeks.
Your dental exam is more important than you might think.
Make sure that you are setting appointments every six months so your dentist
can maintain adequate care of your oral health and prevent serious illness and
damage from occurring. Finally, always brush and floss at night even if you
forget to brush in the morning. Nighttime is when the bacteria in your mouth is
most active and can cause cavities, infection, and other problems, so always go
to sleep with a clean mouth.