Dental hygiene is a routine many of us know inside and out – brush, floss, rinse… and don’t forget regular checkups with a dentist near you! Taking care of our pearly whites may seem like an obvious task, but it’s important to stay on top of these things. Your smile will thank you for it in the long run!
But what should you do if it’s been more than two years since your last visit to the dentist? What about a period of 5 years? What say we go with 10? Do not be surprised, and do not feel embarrassed.
A lot of people put off going to the dentist for a long time, and a lot of people don’t take as good care of their teeth as they’ve been told to. Both of these things are bad for their oral health. How long do you think you could go without visiting the dentist?
What Should You Do If You Haven’t Visited the Dentist in Years?
First, you should cast away any concerns that your dentist will disgrace you. We’ve discovered that this is a fear shared by many individuals who haven’t seen the dentist in a long time: the fear of ridicule. They are concerned that the hygienists will gossip about them when they leave the room. They fear that the dentist will reprimand them and that the dentist will deliver an angry lecture while seated in the chair under the bright lights.
You may eliminate every one of these notions. Our Gentle Touch Family Dentistry staff are consummate professionals treating each patient with courtesy and deference. Also, it is common to visit the dentist after a lengthy absence. Believe us when we say that, in terms of dental hygiene, we’ve likely seen much worse mouths than yours (and we didn’t criticize or mock them, either).
Please, for your own sake, dismiss those thoughts. We’re not here to make fun of you for not visiting the dentist in a decade; we’re here to help you return to the path of good dental health.
If you haven’t seen the dentist in a while, pick up the phone and dial. You can explain in detail why you haven’t been to the dentist, or you can say nothing, and we will still treat you the same. Our role is to examine the condition of your teeth, make any necessary repairs, and then educate you on excellent oral hygiene practices for the future. That is it. We are not compensated extra for tongue-lashing you.
How Frequently Should You Visit the Dentist?
The vast majority of dentists agree that it is best to visit the dentist once every six months for a cleaning and preventative care session. Most of this appointment’s costs will be covered by dental insurance in most cases (because insurance is much more eager to pay for cleaning than for fillings and crowns).
Some dentists believe that this period of time can be extended to two years in exceptional cases if the patient in question practices perfect dental hygiene. However, if you do not have healthy dental habits, it is recommended that you visit the dentist every six months.
The dentist will typically conduct a full examination to check for cavities, plaque buildup, gum disease, and other dental problems. The hygienist will also clean the teeth and gums thoroughly. This is an integral part of preventative care that can help you avoid serious dental health problems later on down the road.
If you do happen to develop any dental issue between your scheduled appointments, it is also crucial that you seek treatment as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely the problem will worsen and become much more difficult (and expensive) to deal with.
What Happens If You Don’t Go to the Dentist?
If you neglect to visit the dentist for an extended period of time, you can anticipate numerous oral complications. The first is plaque accumulation. Plaque is a thin, yellow, sticky film that grows on teeth.
The primary issue is that plaque produces acids that erode tooth enamel (the hard coating protecting your teeth). Additionally, plaque bacteria can cause gingivitis or gum disease. In addition to plaque, tartar is a material that is difficult to remove using a toothbrush and floss.
When plaque and tartar are out of control, tooth decay results; cavities are the most prevalent indicator of dental decay, yet untreated tooth decay and unfilled cavities can lead to tooth loss.
No one desires tooth loss. If you are ashamed to display your uncared-for mouth to your doctor, consider showing a toothless mouth to everyone you encounter. Our dentists and hygienists will never make fun of you because of the condition of your teeth, but can you say the same about the general public?
If you don’t visit the dentist regularly, gum disease is also a severe cause for concern. Gingivitis is the initial stage of gum disease and is characterized by red and swollen gums. It’s what causes you to bleed while brushing. However, you should not view gum disease as a minor issue. As a periodontal disease, gum disease can not only result in tooth loss but can also cause infections in the jaw.
There are a multitude of tooth-related disorders that you should keep from messing with. You may acquire an abscess or an infection. You could require a root canal. But arguably, the most important reason to visit the dentist regularly is that they can detect indicators of serious medical issues such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and even breast cancer by examining your mouth for a variety of ailments, including oral cancer.
Yes, it may be surprising how intertwined your teeth are with the rest of your body, but teeth are frequently like a canary in a coal mine: they are the doorway to your overall health, and many significant disorders can be detected through them.
So, how long can you go without seeing a dentist? The response is, “only if you are willing to endanger your entire body’s health.” On average, cleaning should occur every six months.
But if you haven’t been to the dentist in a while and you’re worried that it’s too late, be assured that we can take care of you and your mouth regardless of the state of your teeth. We are here to assist.
Gentle Touch Family Dentistry is here to help you keep your smile at its healthiest. Our friendly and experienced dentist near me, hygienists, and a team of professionals are committed to providing excellent dental care in a pleasant environment.
So if it’s time for your next cleaning, contact us today and let us help you achieve the healthy smile you deserve.