Having your mouth poked and prodded isn’t something to look forward to, but teeth are a major component of the body’s overall health and must be properly taken care of. Nowadays dentist make procedures ranging from the basic cleaning to the dreaded root canal as painless and convenient as possible and many insurance policies cover oral health. Learn why you should schedule a checkup for your pearly whites.
Dentists are trained in all major areas of oral care and can help you prevent tooth problems or treat them if they do arise. Most advise you to schedule regular checkups with them every six months, and these visits include the cleaning and examination of the teeth and gums. If you find that you already have a problem or develop one over time, the same dentist can provide you with the treatment you need to have you smiling again.
A visit to the dentist’s chair goes hand-in-hand with how you take care of yourself at home. During a checkup you will receive instruction on how to brush and floss on a daily basis to work in conjunction with your regular cleanings. This will help you prevent having to return for a more serious procedure.
Failure to remove bacteria such as plaque can lead to periodontal disease, otherwise known as gum disease, or the decaying of the tooth, known as a cavity. If left untreated, these conditions and others arising from poor oral hygiene can lead to tooth loss and further health effects.
Studies have shown that individuals with gum disease possess twice the risk for a heart attack, as it promotes bacteria entering the bloodstream that is channeled to the heart. Additionally, some bacteria typically found in the gums have been known to cause blood clots, which can also lead to heart ailments and other serious conditions.
No one is better equipped to help you combat these risks than your dentist. If it’s more than a cleaning you need, he or she will develop a plan of action and provide you with options to make any procedure as painless as possible.
Dentists are able to ‘scale’ or scrape teeth to remove bacteria, fortify a decaying tooth with a filling or remove those that are unable to be treated. More specialized procedures are also available to suit a patient’s individual needs. Sedation or local anesthetics are always available to make the procedure pain-free.
Making an appointment to have your mouth checked is something everyone should do. It’s never too late to find a dental office in your area, but making an appointment should be done in advance of when you hope to make your first visit. Many offices are booked weeks or months in advance and scheduling a time that works for you may be difficult without adequate notice.
You should also plan to discuss how you are able to pay for your visits. Many workplace insurance policies and government-subsidized programs include dental plans of varying degrees. You may also be able to purchase a supplement to your regular health insurance or a full dental plan on your own. When calling to schedule your first visit, be prepared to ask about what types of policies or payments the dentist accepts.
Dentists are available everywhere, including near you, and it’s never too late to schedule a visit. Whether you’ve maintained your oral health over the years or need to get started in the right direction, do your whole body a favor and see one today.
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