Did you know that the average adult laughs 15 times a day? Seems like a lot at first glance, but when you consider the number of memes and funny videos available on social media, it is not very much. Another interesting fact is that people brush their teeth for less than the recommended two to three minutes, averaging between 45 seconds and one and a half minutes per clean. These two pieces of information do not seem to relate, but could it be that people laugh and show their teeth less because their lack of proper dental care has resulted in decaying teeth and eroding gums, they are self-conscious about?
The above hypothesis may seem like an overstretch, but it is true that the number of your dentist, unlike that of your doctor, is likely not listed as an emergency contact, because the one is seen as more of a priority than the other. Oral health seems to take the back burner compared to other life’s stressors.
Why is it important to visit your dentist?
Another tidbit for you: did you know that flossing removes the 40% of bacteria found on the mouth’s surface that an ordinary toothbrush cannot reach? This might be something your dental practitioner might tell you to help you to take better care of your teeth, by incorporating flossing and using antibacterial mouthwash into your cleaning habits. For these and other reasons, it is essential to frequently visit the dentist, to gain new knowledge on looking after your teeth, not to mention treating small issues before they get progressively worse.
When was the last time you went in for a check-up? If you cannot remember, you are likely overdue for one.
Excuses cited for not going might be that dental health is not regarded as life-and-death. This might be true for the most part, but can impede your lifestyle, the way you speak, eat and affect your appearance if you leave the problem untreated.
For example, not cleaning in those hard-to-reach places results with plaque getting trapped and calcifying into what is called tartar, something only an oral hygienist can remove with deep cleaning, a procedure that is not all too pleasant. The presence of tartar clogs your gums, which might leave you with Gingivitis, or a more serious periodontal disease that results in receding gums and permanent bone damage.
What to expect
People build up a dental appointment in their mind as something from a horror film, but it is not. A routine check-up will not take too long, and if it has been a while since your last visit and more work on your teeth needs to be done, your dental practitioner is likely to break up whatever procedure you need have done into a couple of sessions, not to overwhelm you.
Under normal circumstances, you will be asked to take a seat in the recliner chair as the assistant covers your chest with a plastic bib. Do not let this alarm you; the plastic is only there to wipe off gunk scraped from your teeth off the instruments used.
A metal tray nearby holds the said instruments, which removes plaque tooth-by-tooth and from the gumline by an oral hygienist. Flossing also occurs as needed, followed by polishing and buffing of your teeth to give it a glossy, shiny look.
If necessary, x-rays of your teeth are done to assess whether problems are starting to form that are hard to see with a naked eye, like cavities forming or pockets in the gums, the latter of which, is a symptom of Gingivitis.
If you feel uncomfortable or your jaw gets stiff, ask your dentist if you can have breaks to give you a couple of minutes to rest and relax.
Looking after your teeth does not require much time in a day, so invest in your oral care today. Coupled with regular visits to your local dental clinic, it will save you the world of time, pain and money.