The American Dental Association recommends that all adults visit their dentist for a checkup every six months, but why? Is it really that important to make an appointment twice a year? The short answer ? Yes, it absolutely is. You see, regular dental appointments cover a lot more territory than just checking for cavities (although that’s certainly one important part of the visit.) In fact, your overall wellness can be affected by your oral health and, as with any other part of the body, the earlier potential problems are addressed, the better. Here are six reasons why you should be keeping those checkups:

Reason #1: Keeping an Eye on Gum Health

One of the most important things that happens at a routine checkup is an overview or your periodontal health (or gum health.) The early symptoms of periodontal disease can be subtle to the untrained eye and your dentist will know exactly what to look out for. Why is this important? Well, untreated gum disease can cause an awful lot of damage to your mouth, in addition to putting you at a higher risk for developing a host of health complications—including heart disease, diabetes, and more. Seeing your dentist every six months means the likelihood of catching periodontal disease early is much higher, and hopefully the risk of unwanted associated complications much lower.

Reason #2: Keeping Plaque and Tartar in Check

Plaque and tartar have a habit of building up in a hurry if you’re relaxed with your oral hygiene. Visiting your dentist every six months means that soft plaque doesn’t have much of a chance to harden on the surface of your teeth, which can cause gum irritation and even lead to periodontal disease if it’s not taken care of quickly.

Reason #3: Bite Analysis

One of the things your dentist will assess at your check up is your bite alignment. Clues in your alignment can reveal problems with bruxism (tooth grinding), jaw or neck pain, or even sleep apnea. If a dentist suspects that something’s off with your alignment, they’ll be able to get to the bottom of it and hopefully present a solution, ensuring less pain and a better night’s sleep.

Reason #4: Early Detection of Tooth Decay

A cavity caught early is a much smaller problem that a cavity that goes unnoticed or untreated for months, or years, on end. A small, simple filling is much less expensive and time consuming, not to mention more comfortable, than a root canal procedure.

Reason #5: Clues About Your Overall Health Can Be Found In Your Mouth

Believe it or not, our mouths can say a lot about our heath in general. During your examination, your dentist will look for signs of possible oral cancer, diabetes, or vitamin deficiencies. If they suspect something is unusual, they can recommend follow-up appointments with specialists.

Reason #6: Keeping Everything Squeaky-Clean

The cleaning your receive at the end of your examination is one of the most important parts of the visit. Your dentist can reach and clean better than you can at home, and you get to leave with a fresh, clean smile (not to mention peace of mind.)

It may be tempting to skip an appointment or two—we all lead busy lives, after all. But the fact of the matter is that the benefits of these regular appointments far outweigh any inconvenience you may perceive. Be sure to see your dentist every six months! (It helps to schedule the next one as you are leaving the current one, so bring your appointment book with you to your visit!)

To learn more, visit Dr. Mary Peebles-Turner at https://broomfielddentist.com/

Dr. Peebles-Turner and her wonderful team serves patients in Broomfield, Colorado.