Studies show that about one-third of Americans avoid going to the dentist on a yearly basis. While a segment of this group is indifferent to the state of their oral health, some people are dedicated brushers and flossers who feel they are doing enough on their own and resolve to see a dentist only when they deem it necessary. What these patients may not realize is that regular dental cleanings and checkups are a necessary part of maintaining strong teeth and gums. Here’s why the doctors at Pacific Northwest Periodontics believe regular dental appointments are so important:
Anyone Can Get Cavities or Gum Disease
While cavities are much more common in people who do not brush their teeth regularly, even diligent brushers develop cavities on occasion. Periodic checkups ensure that the teeth remain free of decay.
The same goes for gum disease. Particularly as patients get older, gum health can deteriorate. It is not enough to assume that daily brushing has prevented plaque from infecting the gumline.
Professional Cleanings Are Superior
Simply put, a toothbrush and floss cannot provide the thorough, deep clean that a hygienist’s tools can. Bacteria accumulate in spots that are difficult to reach with a brush and floss, but the hygienist can ensure those problem areas get cleaned every six months. Not only do the teeth look a brighter shade of white afterwards, but plaque and tartar are removed from around the gums to help prevent gingivitis.
For Most Dental Problems, Early Intervention Is Easier
When most dental problems begin, the symptoms are too insignificant for patients to notice on their own. However, dentists are trained to catch these problems in their earliest stages so that prompt care can be delivered.
If patients wait until they know something is wrong in their mouth before seeing a dentist, they are often setting themselves up for a more elaborate, uncomfortable and/or expensive treatment than they would have needed if the problem was addressed early. What could have been a filling might then become a root canal. Or a tooth that could have been strengthened with a crown may end up needing to be replaced with a dental bridge or dental implant.
Connect with a Top Periodontist
At Pacific Northwest Periodontics, our team encourages everyone to see a dentist biannually. That is the best way to know for sure that your teeth and gums remain healthy. If a dentist confirms that you do need attention from a periodontist, please contact our Seattle office at (206) 575-1086 or our Kent office at (253) 239-3032 for an appointment.