Why You Should Visit the Dentist Regularly
My first ever visit to the dentist was a couple of years ago. And that was because I had a hole in my tooth that I refused to attend to until I started having serious pain (I stalled and stalled my visit to the dentist by constantly using painkillers but eventually, I couldn’t bear it anymore so I had to go).
I had heard terrible tales about visiting the dentist; pain being the main theme. But I concluded that the pain couldn’t be worse than what I was already going through so I went. On getting there I was shocked to see so many people waiting for their turns. I never expected that Nigerians felt the need to visit a dentist. I got my tooth filled and the pain was minimal unlike what I was expecting. The point of this story is that despite interacting with our teeth daily; biting, brushing, chewing, untying knots, etc., we never really think about them or consider them important and this was the same for me until I got that hole in my tooth. So, I will be sharing with you why you should visit a dentist at least twice a year.
But before I tell you why you should never miss that dentist appointment, here are some fun facts that I bet you didn’t know about your teeth.
Fun Facts About Your Teeth
- Your teeth are as unique as your finger prints.
- Every part of your body can heal itself, except your teeth
- You’re more likely to have tooth decay/loss if you drink soda/soft drinks daily
- The enamel on the top surface on your tooth is the hardest part of your entire body. Disclaimer: It can still break if you use it to open bottle corks)
- You only have two sets of teeth in your entire lifetime—baby teeth and permanent teeth. So take good care of them.
- Saliva protects your teeth from bacteria in your mouth. In your lifetime, your mouth produces enough saliva to fill two swimming pools.
Cavities, Tartar and gum disease
Although brushing and flossing daily reduces the risk of cavities, it doesn’t totally prevent it. If plaque is not properly cleaned, it hardens to become tartar which causes cavities and gum disease. If you have a higher risk of cavities or gum disease, you may need to visit the dentist more frequently than twice a year. You have a higher risk if you smoke, don’t brush often, are pregnant, have diabetes, have gum disease etc.
Check up and Cleaning
Your dentist will do a routine check for cavities and any other diseases. Then proceed to clean, polish and floss your teeth. Scaling is also done to remove tartar. It is the use of special tools to remove tartar from your teeth which you really can’t do at home.
Detection of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer otherwise known as mouth cancer can show up on the lips, throat, tongue, or anywhere around the mouth. The symptoms include sores, swellings, lumpy feeling in the throat, pain or tenderness anywhere in your mouth, including your tongue, loose teeth with no apparent dental cause, persistent sore throat or hoarseness, etc. Early detection is very important which is why you should visit your dentist regularly. I would put a picture but they are just too graphic for me. Just google oral cancer images.
With these points listed, I believe seeing a dentist at least twice a year would be very beneficial in the long run; and your teeth would thank you for it.