Most people are taught in grade school the importance of brushing your teeth and flossing at least twice a day to keep tooth decay and gum disease at bay. Though most follow this advice throughout life, they stop short at a very important step to maintaining good oral health – seeing a dentist at least twice a year. When it comes to complete oral health, your dentist can take preventative measures, outside of your own oral hygiene practices to ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy and strong.
Consequences of Not Seeing a Dentist
There are a lot of reasons people provide for not visiting the dentist as often as they should. Some are under the impression if they’re in no pain then there is nothing wrong, others have dental phobias that keep them from scheduling an appointment, while some are so busy they just can’t seem to make the time for something as “minor” as a dentist appointment. These reasons may seem valid, but the truth is, failing to see a dental professional at least twice a year could result in:
- Plaque buildup
- Tooth decay
- Tooth loss
- Gum disease
- Bad breath
- Teeth stains
- Oral cancer
- Increased risk for breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke
- Abscess and pus
- The need for invasive surgeries and treatments
Finding a Dentist That’s Right
No one wants to deal with the consequences of not going to see a dentist. Not only can that route be painful, but it can also be expensive to fix (if treatment is possible). It is best instead to find a dentist that works best for you. Here are some tips:
Search by location – You don’t have to go far to find a good dental office. Simply start your internet search by typing in your location and the type of dentist you’re looking for. So, if you live in Missouri and were looking for a dentist for your entire family you’d search for a St Louis family dentist for the best results.
Review website – Once you’ve found a few dentists’ offices near you, you should review their website to learn more. A professional site should have information that includes an address and phone number, a list of services provided and a list of insurances accepted or payment options offered. You should also be able to review information on the staff. Review data provided by the dentists in the office including their education and professional credentials to ensure they are qualified in the field of dentistry.
See what others have to say – Online reviews are the best way to find out if a dentist is good or not. Though they may not be able to please every patient they’ve ever had, a reputable dentist should have very few negative reviews online. Check several to see what patients have to say about the type of treatments they received and how the staff treated them while they were there.
Schedule a Consultation – If you’ve found at least three dentists’ offices you’re interested in with good reviews, the final step would be to schedule a consultation. During the consultation, you should be prepared to ask any questions about the dentist, their staff, costs, and treatments available within the facility. You should also discuss any concerns you may have about phobias as any dentist can be sympathetic towards that and provide gentler treatment and/or offer options like anesthesia for complex procedures to ease the pain.
The oral health advice to brush your teeth and floss twice per day is just the beginning of what needs to be done to ensure you maintain good oral hygiene. Whether you thought your teeth and gums were fine, don’t have the time, or suffer from dental phobias that have prevented you from seeing a dental professional, take the above-mentioned advice and find a professional that’s best suited for you. Seeing a dentist twice a year certainly beats the consequences, so don’t hesitate to find a dental office who can meet your needs.