Your regular dental checkups are much more than a chance to showcase your winning smile; they are a vital tool in maintaining your overall health. Here, we have created a list of our top reasons for keeping up with your regular visits to your Vancouver dentist:
1. Use your dental insurance benefits
Nationwide, millions of dollars of dental insurance go unused each year. While specifics may vary by policy, most dental insurance plans will pay for two cleanings/checkups a year. If you are one of the many that are lucky enough to have these benefits, we recommend that you take advantage of them. Not just for your dental health, but for your overall health. When December 31st rolls around, what you have not used is often lost. Be sure to take advantage of your coverage, after all, you’ve paid for it.
2. Remove tartar
Our Dental hygienists at Arbutus North Dental Centre are professionally trained to clean hard-to-reach areas of your mouth, using specialized tools to scrub your enamel free of plaque and food debris. When plaque builds up, it creates tartar. When tartar hardens, it becomes even more difficult to remove on your own. If untreated, this can quickly lead to cavities.
Plaque can turn to Tartar in as little as two days, so aside from maintaining proper dental hygiene routines on your own, it is important for regular visits so we can help clean the difficult areas, avoiding further damage in the future.
3. Regular X-rays
Do you have impacted wisdom teeth? Do you need a root canal? X-rays can show the answer. Regular X-rays also help your local dentist determine if teeth have shifted due to an uneven bite or jaw problems. Surprisingly, not all dental problems involve a toothache, and can actually go undetected until the point that the treatment becomes invasive and expensive. Dental X-Rays help our team spot an undetected issue before it becomes a problem.
4. Spot problems before they get worse
After your cleaning, the dentist will conduct an examination, checking for cavities or other problems. Tooth decay is easier to treat at its earliest stages. Once a cavity tears into the enamel, it can inflame the pulp, which is the soft tissue inside each tooth. From there, the infection can spread to the root. In extreme cases, extensive decay can lead to a serious bacterial infection. For your comfort, for your wallet, and for your peace of mind, allowing us to spot these problems early can make a world of difference.
5. Establish good communication between you and your dentist
Whether you have a walk-in appointment or you visit a dentist twice a year, communication is key to a successful partnership. We want to ensure that you have a healthy smile not merely because straight, white teeth are attractive, but because oral health can affect your overall health. Our team prides ourselves on working hard to listen to our patients’ needs as well as provide an open line of communication. Have a concern? Anxious about something? Let’s talk about it! Together we can come to a solution that fits your needs.
6. Keep your body healthy
Studies have repeatedly confirmed that oral health provides insight into your overall health. Poor dental hygiene can lead to other diseases and conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and endocarditis (the infection of the heart lining). Gum disease has also been linked to low birth weight and premature birth. We often say that Oral Health = Total Health, and it is true.
7. Set an example for the kids
Since oral health has such a huge impact on your life, wouldn’t you want to be sure your children (or nieces, or nephews) understand the importance of brushing and flossing? How can you expect them to do the right thing if they’re not taught how? Children should start seeing a dentist as soon as they have their first tooth, or before they turn one year old. We understand that it may be difficult convincing children of the importance of dental care, one of our tips to combat this is to bring them to choose out their own toothbrush and toothpaste. Having them involved in the decision can make it seem more fun. We also hear of parents creating fun tasks for their children to do while they are brushing their teeth, like washable mirror markers to play tic-tac-toe with their siblings, or coming up with fun dental themed songs to get them over the two-minute mark.
8. Help for sleep apnea
Your dentist can also help you get a great night’s sleep. Sleep apnea is a condition where someone stops breathing repeatedly at small intervals during the night. It can lead to much more than drowsiness—it increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. Those with sleep apnea may benefit from a customized mouth guard that opens the airway, eliminating snoring. At Arbutus North Dental Centre, we have the tools and the experience to help find a solution for you. Don’t self diagnose or brush off the possibility of sleep apnea or other issues, instead, see an expert.
9. No surprises
It’s always better to plan and be prepared. By seeing your dentist regularly and communicating with him or her, you will have a better idea not only of your treatment plan but how much your dental insurance will cover. This way there are no surprises with your dental work or your bill. If you do not have dental insurance, this will also give you a chance to speak with your dentist about payment options. We are always trying to be as transparent as possible and want our patients to understand every aspect of their visit, and this means honest pricing.
10. Oral cancer screening
Early detection dramatically increases the chances of survival, but most oral cancers are not discovered until later stages. Don’t skip this vital screening! There are plenty of excuses for skipping a regular dental appointment: not enough time, hectic schedules and even dental anxiety, but these excuses pale in comparison to the incredible benefits of a biannual dental cleaning and checkup. When it comes to your oral health, (and remember, also your total health), the time it takes for biannual dental visits could be the difference between getting potentially life-saving treatment before it is too late, or not.
Schedule an appointment with us and have something to smile about.