Posted July 23, 2015
You’ve probably heard it’s important to brush your teeth twice daily and floss at least one time during the day to maintain good oral health. So if you follow these directions, you may wonder whether it’s necessary to see the dentist regularly. Here are three reasons why regular dental checkups are important:
- Professional cleaning – Brushing and flossing daily help remove food particles that cling to your teeth, but you still may notice a filmy coating on tooth surfaces called plaque. It’s important to have a dental professional clean your teeth to remove plaque. If not treated, plaque can turn into tartar and lead to gum or periodontal disease.
Sometimes people hesitate to visit the dentist due to concerns about the cost. Dental insurance covers the cost of preventive checkups and cleanings, and helps pay for common procedures. (Ameritas has a dental cost estimator tool to help plan members get an idea of what an out-of-network general dentist may charge for a dental procedure in their area.)
- Oral exam – During the appointment, the dentist will carefully examine your mouth to:
- Look for loose teeth
- Verify that gums are healthy without any signs of gum disease
- Confirm the cheek tissues and tongue are healthy
- Check your bite and look for signs of teeth grinding
- Check for medical problems – While examining your teeth, the dentist will check your face, neck, lymph nodes and jaw, looking for signs of potential medical problems, such as diabetes, hypertension, leukemia, kidney disease, pancreatic cancer, heart disease and oral cancer.
At the end of the appointment, the dentist will confirm how often to schedule an exam. Most people have dental checkups once or twice a year. Individuals considered at high risk for dental disease, such as smokers or those who have diabetes, a weak immune system or a family history of oral health problems, may need to see the dentist more frequently.
To help pay for regular dental visits, you need the right dental coverage. Learn tips for choosing dental coverage by reviewing this blog.