31 Mar #18: 10 reasons why regular dental check ups are important….
Regular Dental Check Ups
- The obvious one to check your teeth for decay. Dental decay, if caught in the very early stages has the possibility of being reversed. Basically explained- your tooth has three layers- 1. Enamel 2. Dentine 3. Pulp. If the decay is found just at the enamel layer, it is possible to ‘remineralise’ the ‘demineralised’ enamel and stop a hole happening in its tracks.
- Check your gums- People often underestimate just how important your gums are in the overall health of your mouth. Your gums (and the bone underneath) are what support your teeth in your mouth. If the gums aren’t healthy, it will affect the bony support and your teeth become loose! Believe it or not, we see more people have their teeth removed due to poor gum health than decay.
- Check for oral disease- this is also a very important factor. Just like getting regular skin checks, it’s important to check all of the soft tissues- the cheeks, lips, tongue and palate of your mouth for any signs of oral disease including mouth cancers, thrush, mouth sores etc
- Check for signs of excessive tooth wear- People who grind their teeth most commonly don’t know they are doing it. Quite often grinding teeth/bruxism occurs at night while sleeping. By identifying the early signs of tooth wear at your regular dental check up may save the life of your teeth before they get ground away!
- Check for signs of erosion- acidic foods/drink and excessive tooth brushing can cause your the enamel (the first layer) of your teeth to wash/wear away. A regular dental check will involve searching for signs of erosion so long term damage doesn’t harm your teeth.
- Check your bite- over the years your teeth will wear naturally and adjust the way your jaws close together. Ensuring your teeth close together evenly and not one sided reduces your risk of headaches and tension as well as limits the risk of cracked tooth syndrome.
- Diet discussion (only in relation to your teeth! We don’t work for Jenny Craig!)- as we check for signs of decay/gum disease/erosion our dentist will chat to you about your diet and how some of the food/drinks you consume may affect your teeth. Some people are surprised to know that dentists don’t terribly like the idea of Apple cider vinegar in the morning or lemon and water as they are highly acidic and wash away the enamel of your teeth. However, we can generally come to a compromise of drinking through a straw, or a ‘shot’ of apple cider vinegar with a glass of water as a chaser 😉
- Check oral hygiene habits- Part of our job is to keep you up to date with changes in oral hygiene techniques and show you how to use what is currently available. Your dentist will go over what you should be doing at home to keep your teeth and gums healthy. I don’t know about you, but I was taught as a kid to ‘BRUSH YOUR TEETH!’ however, it wasn’t until I was an adult working in dentistry (20 years now!), that it makes much more sense to me to say “Brush your GUMS!’. Oral hygiene research has changed over the years. The plaque that needs to be removed by your toothbrush sits at the gum line of your teeth- the brush needs to be aimed at your gums in order to get it all off! AND I only had the option of floss, now life is so much easier with interdental brushes and waterpiks!
- Check airways and tongue or lip ties (mainly in children)- while this isn’t a main part of the scope of dentistry, our dentists and dental hygienists check your child’s airways and tongue/lip ties to ensure their mouth and palate develop the way they should. If we find a severe tongue tie or find that your child suffers symptoms relating to the airways we will refer you to a specialist to further investigate the matter.
- Preventative dentistry options- coming to the dentist regularly means we will be able to offer preventative dental solutions as they become available!
At the end of the day it’s always nice to have a good rapport with your dentist and their team. By visiting the dentist regularly we get to know you, you become our friend. We see your kids grow over the years. We know who you are when you call. To us that’s just as valuable as checking your teeth for decay -knowing you have a dental family that are there to help you is worth its weight in gold!