Why You Need To See a Dentist, Especially After Time Away

Why You Need To See a Dentist, Especially After Time Away

Regardless of your age, going to the dentist on a regular basis matters. It is best to visit a dentist for a routine check-up every six months. However, sometimes life gets ahead of us and we forget to visit a dental office for many years. Someone who hasn’t gone to the family dentist in Cary, NC in quite a while may have questions about what to expect and a reminder about why these appointments are important. Here we have answered some of the most frequent questions patients have when visiting their dentist:

If I brush and floss daily, why do I still need to see a dentist?

Maintaining oral health is more than just flossing and brushing every day. Even with a toothbrush and dental floss, we are not able to get into the hard to reach areas that a dental hygienist can. They have the tools needed to scrape plaque buildup along the gum line and in between teeth. Regular dental appointments are helpful because they can identify potential problems before they get even worse. Your dentist can examine your mouth for signs of disease, and take the steps necessary to get you the care you need if something serious has developed.

What are the signs that I need to see my dentist?

As stated above, it is crucial that you don’t wait to see a dentist until after you are having symptoms. By the time you feel tenderness, pain, or another discomfort, an issue that could have been attended to sooner has now progressed. There are symptoms to watch out for related to oral health. If you experience any of the following, then it’s time to reach out to your local dentist about an exam and cleaning: 

  • There is a sore or peculiar spot in your mouth that hasn’t gone away in weeks
  • Your jaw makes popping sounds when talking or chewing
  • Moving your jaw is painful
  • You smoke or use other forms of tobacco products
  • You have diabetes, an eating disorder, HIV, or cardiovascular disease
  • You have frequent dry mouth
  • You are pregnant
  • There is a family history of tooth decay or gum disease
  • There is swelling of your mouth, neck, or face
  • You can’t seem to get rid of a bad taste in your mouth 
  • You struggle with persistent bad breath
  • You are unhappy with how your teeth look
  • Your bite is misaligned so it makes eating more difficult
  • Your teeth are sensitive to temperatures that are cold or hot
  • Your gums are puffy and bleed when you floss or brush
  • You have dentures, dental implants, fillings, and/or crowns

What can I expect during my appointment after a long time away?

If you haven’t been to a dentist in a while then your dentist will probably want you to complete some paperwork about your recent medical history. Your dentist may then examine your mouth for abnormalities, suggest x-rays, inquire about any symptoms you are experiencing, and perform a cleaning. Depending on your teeth and how much plaque has built up in the time away, your dentist may suggest coming in for a second round of cleaning. 

Thanks to Alliance Dentistry for their insight into dentistry and why you need to see a dentist.