Everyone knows that taking a good care of your mouth prevents oral problems. Keeping a good oral hygiene is essential to avoid potential problems such as cavities, gingivitis, bad breath and other discomforts.
However, many people pay a visit to their dentist only when there is something to be fixed, i.e. there is tooth pain or gum bleeding. They consider the dental professional to be a “fixer”, when in fact it is a “preventer”. Visiting your dentist at least twice a year will keep oral problems away and maintain your dental health at its maximum.
You may do anything you can to improve your mouth health at home, and that’s great. But there are some things that are simply impossible to do by yourself and can only be done by your dentist. For instance:
The best way you can check your own mouth is to look at it on a mirror. This may be useful for locating cavities and other things that affect the front area of your mouth, but if something is wrong in the back then you won’t be able to detect it.
Your dentist, on the other hand, has special tools that allow him/her to look everywhere, being able to spot even the tiniest sign of a potential problem. If something turns out to be wrong, your dentist can immediately fix it most of the times, or suggest a way to fix it yourself.
From tiny mirrors that are specially designed to explore the “hidden” regions of your mouth to x-rays, your dentist has the tools you don’t have at home.
If your dentist founds something suspicious or potentially dangerous, he/she can send a sample of what was found in your mouth to the lab for testing. This way he/she can spot infections that are not yet symptomatic, even before you begin feeling ill.
It is not uncommon to find certain problems that can be easily mistaken for others. For instance, white patches on the tongue could be mere accumulation of bacteria and keratin, but they also can be signs of a much more severe condition, like oral cancer. Identifying them in time is a huge advantage.
Keeping Track Of Your Oral Health
Regularly visiting your dentist will allow him/her to keep a record of how your overall oral status varies in time. He/she can suggest changes in food habits, hygiene methods and other oral practices according to the health status of your mouth.
Keeping track of your oral health also allows your dentist to detect conditions that may be developing somewhere else in your body. For instance, certain gastric diseases have manifestations in your mouth, commonly bad breath. If your dentist sees any symptom that is “out of place”, he will recommend you to a specialist that can help you out.
It is recommended that you visit your dental professional regularly, at least every six months. If your mouth is in bad condition or you are genetically or environmentally prone to infections, then you should see your dentist more often, four times a year or even more.
Taking care of your teeth and mouth at home is priceless to ensure oral health, but nothing is better than regularly checking with your dentist. Both home practices and professional consultation go together, and will allow you to keep strong teeth, a fresh breath and a healthy mouth for years to come!