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Why you should be serious about getting regular dental check-ups

Preventive dentistry can safeguard your teeth from a host of problems including cavities and tartar buildup

Regular dental check ups can help your dentist address dental problems promptly before they become more serious(Pexels/Cedric Fauntleroy)

By Dr. Karishma Jaradi

LAST PUBLISHED 21.09.2023  |  08:00 AM IST

It's funny how most people, even today, don't give serious thought to maintaining their oral health, when fact is, healthy teeth and gums are the gateway to your overall health.

A lax attitude towards dental health leads people to assume that their teeth are fine and that they do not need to go to the dentist. While this may be a common approach to whole body wellness, it is not the best approach to caring for your teeth. That's because while a headache or a strained ankle may improve on its own, teeth never do.

This is why this article makes a case for preventive dentistry, as it reduces the risk of cavities, gum disease and tooth decay. It also helps prevent small problems from growing into something catastrophic. Preventive visits allow the treatment of demineralized enamel before it becomes a deep cavity that causes tooth pain and requires root canal treatment. In addition, preventive visits allow dentists to remove tartar that causes cavities. When you skip preventive dentistry visits you are actually increasing your risk of developing oral health problems. 

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Here's a list of reasons why the maxim ‘prevention is better than cure’ applies to your oral health:

Early detection of problems: Going for a regular dental checkup allows your dentist to identify dental issues such as cavities and gum diseases in their early stages. And early detection often means a simpler and less invasive treatment.

Gum disease prevention: Gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis are common problems that can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Regular dental visits help in identifying and treating such diseases before they progress to a severe stage.

Professional cleaning: Even with regular brushing and flossing, plaque and tartar can build up in hard-to-reach areas of the mouth. Professional dental cleaning during check-ups helps remove these deposits, reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease.

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Oral hygiene education: Dentists and dental hygienists provide valuable guidance on proper brushing, flossing techniques and overall oral care. They can, in fact, recommend specific oral care products tailored for your needs. Regular visits also allow you to understand the latest products and treatments available for dental care.

X-Rays and Imaging: Dental checkups often include getting X-rays done that allow your dentist to assess the health of your teeth, jawbone, and underlying structures. These images can reveal hidden issues that may not be visible during a regular examination. 

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Preservation of natural teeth: By addressing dental problems promptly, you can avoid the need for extractions or other interventions that might lead to tooth loss.

Overall health impact: Poor oral health has been linked to various systemic health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory infections. Regular dental visits can contribute to your overall well-being by maintaining oral health and reducing the risk of these connections. 

Personalized treatment plans: Dental checkups allow dentists to create personalized treatment plans based on your oral health needs and goals. This ensures that you receive the appropriate care and recommendations for maintaining a healthy smile, teeth and gums.

Basic dental hygiene practices you can do at home
1. Brushing your teeth at least twice daily and flossing your teeth will remove food particles that allow bacteria to thrive. This will help keep your teeth free of plaque. 
2. Don’t forget to clean your tongue with a soft bristled toothbrush or a tongue cleaner. 
3. There are so many products out there that claim to work magic on your teeth. Stick to the toothpaste that your dentist has approved for you. 
4. Eating a nutritious diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains will help keep your oral health perfect. Avoid eating foods that are high in sugar such as chocolate, sugary soft drinks, and sugary snacks.

Dr. Karishma Jaradi is head dental surgeon at Dentzz Dental, Mumbai.

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