The Importance of Regular Dental Exams

Unless you’re putting off withdrawing money from your bank account, procrastination usually isn’t such a great idea. Avoid taking your car to the mechanic for regular maintenance and you could get an unpleasant surprise on your next road trip. By the same token, if you delay visiting your dentist for regular checkups, you are definitely setting the stage for problems down the road.  If you live near Marysville, Arlington, Smokey Point, or Camano Island, you can avoid these problems by scheduling regular dental cleanings at Seven Lakes Dental.

Dental ExamMany dental delayers are under the misconception that if they are not feeling any pain or twinges in their teeth or gums, they must be doing fine. This “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality is based on two assumptions: that dental visits are only done to check for tooth decay and that no news is good news. In reality, checking for cavities and decay is only one small part of a dental exam. In addition, your dentist or hygienist will also look carefully throughout your mouth for evidence of oral cancer, diabetic changes and even vitamin deficiencies. A good checkup will also include a head and neck examination as well as a look at the movements of your lower jaw joints.

One of the most important aspects of your oral examination has to do with your gum health. Preventing or stopping the advance of gum disease won’t just lead to better health throughout your body; it will ward off bad breath and help you keep your teeth for a lifetime. Contrary to popular belief, gum disease is usually painless. Without regular dental maintenance checkups, many patients don’t even realize they have this common infection of the tissues that surround and support their teeth until it is in the advanced stages. The primary cause of this condition, also known as periodontal disease, is the build-up of sticky bacteria called plaque that is constantly forming on the teeth. In its early stage, known as gingivitis, it can be treated and kept from worsening. At its most advanced, it will lead to tooth loss and has also been linked to systemic medical problems such as stroke and diabetes.

In addition to providing you with ongoing gum care, your six-month dental visit will allow your dentist and hygienist to take x-rays to check for decay between teeth and below the surfaces. You will also receive a thorough cleaning, which involves removal of plaque and tartar, polishing your teeth, flossing and going over any recommendations for improving your daily oral care regimen at home. This is a great time to ask all of the questions you may have or to express any concerns.

Taking the time to visit the dentist twice a year may not be at the top of your list of favorite ways to spend your time. However, making it a part of your busy schedule can actually help you in the long run. By monitoring your oral health on a regular basis, you can treat many issues before they become more painful or costly than they need to be. And just as your mechanic carefully examines your vehicle to ensure that it runs safely for the next few thousand miles, your dentist and hygienist can ensure that your smile will stay bright and your teeth and gums will remain healthy. That is definitely something you don’t want to put off.

When was the last time you saw the dentist? Schedule your next dental exam at Seven Lakes Dental in Marysville, WA.  We are a modern dental practice that focuses on your comfort. Our service area includes Marysville, Arlington, Smokey Point, Camano Island, and Stanwood, WA.