Regular dental checkups can prevent oral health problems in San Francisco, CA
Scheduling twice-a-year dental appointments may not be the favorite part of your annual family care planning, but it is critical to your health. Often, patients think they only need to call the dentist if they have a toothache. Dr. Terri Nguyen of West Portal Family Dentistry reminds her San Francisco-area patients that regular dental checkups can keep your smile sparkling and prevent future oral health problems.
If you’ve considered skipping out on an upcoming checkup, consider these five reasons why you should think again:
- A good cleaning: Even patients with the best teeth brushing and flossing habits often miss hard to reach areas. With professional tools, expert training, and a different vantage point, dental hygienists can make sure every nook of your teeth are plaque and tartar free.
- Cavity prevention: Removing plaque and tartar from the teeth prevents it from sticking and beginning to erode the teeth, which is how cavities begin and grow. Patients often think they’ll see or feel a cavity, but in many cases, it can be detected by a dentist and an x-ray well before the patient notices a change.
- Gum disease: Not only is proper dental care good for your teeth, but it’s also important for the gums and soft tissue. Plaque and tartar build-up can begin to impact the gums, causing erosion. Receding gums can cause sensitivity and pain. Early signs of gum disease include sore gums, bleeding while brushing or flossing, and gums that are swollen.
- Oral cancer screening: Dentists are trained to recognize the earliest abnormalities in the mouth that can be indicative of oral cancer. Caught early, oral cancer is often treated quickly and effectively. However, if it’s not detected in the early stages, it can spread and require much more medical treatment.
- Preventative habit changes: Most people know that smoking is bad for their oral health. However, other habits such as chewing ice, grinding or clenching your teeth, drinking too much coffee or red wine, or even brushing your teeth with too much pressure can also damage your teeth and gums. Dentists can spot damage caused by these habits and help you change your ways.