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Dental health has links with 120+ systemic diseases. There is no way to take your oral health lightly as it has clear relations with your heart, lungs, respiratory organs etc. In short, healthy dental care is not an option or choice but a mandate. To maintain your oral health, your dentist is your best friend and a regular dental checkup is a must!
Dental checkups: Regular dentist visits for better examination of your oral hygiene to ensure that your teeth are healthy. If a person suffers from any dental issue, dental checkups make it easy for the doctor to catch and treat it at the right time. Despite this, there are people who haven't seen the dentist in years, and in some cases - never!
There are high chances of serious consequences if one doesn't look after regular oral health. Some of the systemic risks are respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, premature pregnancy etc. Hence, to combat these, one must visit the dentist regularly.
1. Prevention of Oral Cancer -
India is known as the world capital of Oral Cancer. Sometimes a lesion or an ulcer can lead to an advanced oral problem or oral cancer. Visiting a dentist regularly helps you in the early diagnosis. While screening your mouth, the dentist can figure out the complications and can start the treatment then and there.
2. Prevention of Gum Disease -
Gum disease is the major reason for tooth loss in adults. Gum disease is an infection in the gum tissue that can be treated if diagnosed early through facilities such as regular health checks. If untreated, a serious and advanced form of gum disease can take place. Seeing a dentist regularly, and maintaining a proper oral care regime is a must to prevent gum disease.
3. Prevention of Dental Cavities -
Visiting a dentist regularly for checkups will help in detecting dental cavities at early stages and treating them with simple sealants or fillings, and preventing further complications of getting root canals or extractions.
4. Persistent Bad Breath -
Visiting a dentist regularly for checkups will help in detecting the reasons for bad breath like cavities, bleeding gums or acid refluxes or chronic bronchitis
5. Dry Mouth -
Visiting a dentist regularly for checkups will help in detecting the reasons for dry mouth could be an underlying medical problem or due to the salivary gland not functioning properly or medications, which could cause dryness which in turn causes decay and bleeding.
6. Crowded Teeth or Malaligned Teeth -
Visiting a dentist regularly for checkups will help in detecting whether you have any changes in your smile due to crowding or spacing in between the teeth happening due to gum problems or because of your habits or any trauma.
7. Temporomandibular Joint -
Visiting a dentist regularly for checkups will help in detecting whether you have any degenerative changes in the joint or if the meniscus is damaged due to trauma or improper chewing habits.
8. Pregnancy -
Visiting a dentist regularly for checkups before and during pregnancy will help in detecting whether you have any gum problems due to hormonal changes or decalcification of teeth causing decay and sensitivity due to acid reflux during pregnancy.
9. Maintaining Overall Health -
Visiting a dentist regularly for checkups will not only amp up your oral health but will also make your overall health better. Oral health has a link with heart attacks and other systemic diseases. Getting your cleaning done every six months keeps your teeth healthy and reduces the risk of other health complications.
10. Detecting Dental Problems -
Now that we know the importance of dental problems, helping your doctor to diagnose dental problems is a must. This can only be done when you visit a dental hygienist. Your dentist can detect cavities, gum problems, broken fillings etc. at an early stage and can accordingly initiate a treatment. If these problems are left untreated, they can be a severe issue tomorrow, which may require a root canal treatment, gum surgery and so on.
11. Investment for the future -
As mentioned above, a small dental problem can be a serious issue tomorrow. A tiny dot of a cavity can become a root canal case tomorrow, which is going to be an expensive, time-taking and painful affair. Visiting a dentist regularly can be seen as an investment as all these issues can be fixed early with the help of a dentist.
12. Make your smile attractive -
The foremost reason is to smile bright. Once you are in the habit of visiting your dentist regularly and getting your teeth cleaning done, you can finally flaunt your pearly whites. Regular dental visits improve your smile and help you get rid of stains and spots by teeth whitening and alignment to smile bright.
Pregnancy is a different feeling altogether. The would-be parents won't risk their little one's life at any cost. Keeping a check on your diet, lifestyle, and gynaecologist's visit becomes mandatory. But here again, your dental health cannot be taken lightly. Hormonal changes during pregnancy increase the risk of catching gum disease, which obviously affects the child's health and also because Pregnancy gingivitis is very common and can cause a low birth weight for the child or premature birth. It is recommended to take good oral care when one is expecting. The soon-going-to-be mother should regularly visit a dentist and should follow proper oral care hygiene at home to remain healthy throughout the pregnancy.
What should one do between each dental visit?
Once you visit a dentist, ensure to take all the precautions and follow the dental health regime properly. To keep your oral health best, one must brush twice a day with fluoride infused toothpaste, floss daily, use a tongue cleaning scraper to remove the bacteria and impurities, and rinse your mouth thoroughly after meals. It is also recommended to keep a close check on your mouth and rush to the doctor immediately in case of any unusual symptoms.
Are dental checkups worth the time and effort?
No more procrastination about your bi-annual dental cleaning and visits to the dentist. A comprehensive health plan will take into account the need for regular dental checkups. These are worth your effort and time as with the help of the dentist you help him to diagnose oral health problems early. The dentist will access your oral health which clearly has links with overall health.
Consulting a dentist is not rocket science now. With MyDentalPlan - India’s largest dental network; oral health has become affordable and accessible for all. Their lucrative plans and packages are specially curated for individuals, kids, families, old age people etc. and help bring dentistry to your fingertips.
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Dr Deepak Kulkarni is a dental surgeon with over 23 years of experience. He is a graduate of the H.K.E Dental College, Gulbarga, and has certifications in ACHS International Accreditation Education Plan; Advanced Rotary Endodontic - Restorative Continuum; and Leadership, Team Building and Customer Service Leadership from the Oscar Murphy International.