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Why Even Healthy Adults Need Regular Dental Exams

Young woman with healthy teeth.

It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that if your teeth look good and feel fine, they must be healthy. However, dental health is much more complex than that. Without regular check-ups and cleanings, minor problems you didn't know you had can get much worse before you know it.

How Often Should Healthy People Get Dental Check-Ups?

You shouldn't wait until you have a toothache or other problem to go to the dentist. Just like an annual physical with your primary care doctor, dental check-ups should be a regular part of your healthcare routine. Even if you are in perfect health and your teeth and gums are, too, you should schedule a regular dental check-up twice per year. This twice-per-year suggestion comes straight from the American Dental Association.

Why Everyone Needs Regular Check-Ups

At your check-up, you will get a professional cleaning, and your dentist will look closely for any developing issues. Here's why these things are important, even if you are in perfect health.

Early Detection is Key

Many oral problems, like cavities and gum disease, are often painless in their early stages, making them hard to detect without a professional evaluation. Regular check-ups allow your dentist to catch issues early when they're easier (and less expensive) to treat. A simple filling today could prevent a root canal or extraction tomorrow.

The Role of Dental Cleanings in Oral Health

Dental cleanings are a fundamental part of maintaining oral hygiene. Just because teeth appear white and clean on the surface does not guarantee that they are. In fact, looks can be deceiving since plaque and tartar can accumulate in hard-to-reach areas, such as below the gum line, even if you are diligent about brushing and flossing.

What many patients don't realize is that tartar, in particular, can only be removed by a dental professional. Without regular cleanings, plaque and tartar can eventually lead to cavities, gum disease, and even tooth loss.

The Connection Between Oral Health and General Health

Oral health is interconnected with your overall health. Conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancers have been linked to oral health problems like gum disease. In addition, your dentist checks your mouth thoroughly for early signs of oral cancers. Regular dental check-ups can potentially alert you to these health concerns before they become serious. 

A Customized Plan for Your Oral Health

Each person's oral health needs are unique. Children have different dental needs compared to adults, and seniors have specific concerns too. Regular check-ups ensure that every individual gets the attention they need at every stage of life. Regular dental visits allow your dentist to follow your tooth and gum health over time and tailor your oral care plan according to your needs.

Building Trust and Alleviating Fears

For many, a trip to the dentist can be anxiety-inducing. Regular visits to your dental office can help alleviate this fear by creating familiarity and trust. You'll get to know your dentist and their team, which can make future procedures less daunting.

A Healthy Smile is a Beautiful Smile

Regular check-ups and cleanings help keep your smile beautiful for years to come. They are part of a proactive approach to maintaining overall health, preventing potential dental problems, and keeping your smile radiant. 

While it may seem like an inconvenience or an unnecessary expense, especially when you're feeling healthy, these routine visits can save you a lot of time, pain, and money down the road. It's a small investment in your health that can pay big dividends.

Book your biannual check-up and cleaning, even if you're feeling great. Future you will be glad you did!

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