HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all. This new year comes with new beginnings, new start, and new commitments and new priorities. Making a New resolution about one’s oral health is also beneficial, to make it to the dentist this year. Most Nigerians often believe in the time past that all the dental healthcare professionals care about is removing bad or decayed teeth until the recent times when the dental awareness activities within the country took a different dimension.

The ABC of oral health care starts with

A –ATTENTION (that is, giving your teeth attention).

B- BRUSHING (that is, Brush your teeth twice daily).

 C-CHECK-UP (that is, visiting your dentist at least twice in a year).

Emphasis is laid on regular visit in this article. Dentists examine your mouth and check the teeth and the gums mainly for abnormalities that may otherwise go unnoticed and could be a sign of larger health issues in the nearest future and counsel you on your oral health need. The aim is to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy. All the Dental healthcare professionals do is to make sure that you have strong teeth and they will also help you correct any oral habits that may be sabotaging your oral health, among other things. Priorities often receive special attention, so make your oral count this year.

One may not consider skipping dental appointments as a big deal, but dental problems can develop without being noticed and progress extremely quickly with or without pain or any other form of unpleasant discomfort. By keeping on top of your check-ups and dental cleanings you’re doing yourself a big favour in the long run because prevention is better than cure.

Routine dental visits or periodic dental appointments will not only provide the necessary therapy for vulnerable teeth, but will also create the atmosphere for the oral health education session that is critical to the prevention of oral diseases and promotion of oral health thereby improving the lifespan of individuals

These are the nine (9) reasons Why Regular Dental Visits Should Be One of Your Priorities;

  1. CATCH THE PROBLEMS YOUNG

One of the most beneficial things you can experience if you frequently visit the dentist is that, he or she will be able to tell you about minor problems that you can inexpensively and easily take care of .  The earlier you get a hole filled, for example, the longer the filling will last and the better your overall health.  If you delay or ignore getting a hole filled while it’s small and without any symptom whatsoever, it would cost significantly more to get it fixed when it needs more advanced treatment a few years down the road. The earlier the better if you make it one of your priorities this new year.

  • One peculiar thing with most dental problems is that one may not feel any symptoms until they are at advanced stage. If you have sensitive teeth, it’s important that you get it treated.  However, unless you develop a severe form of the sensitivity or infection of the teeth due to unfilled holes or have gum disease that is at a very advanced stage, you likely won’t experience any pain. In other words, don’t wait till there is pain before you visit the dentist
  1. PRESENT ECONOMY ALLOWS FOR SOME BETTER DEALS

Many dentists are running new-patient special-programs due to the fragile state of the economy.  They figure out that it’s wiser to treat a new patient even if they charge a really low price than to have no patients at all due to economic melt-down. So attempt to benefit from the regular check-ups rather than wait till there is pain.

  • If you perform a search around, you will likely find some good deals in form of promo that will allow you have a free or low-cost dental examination and use of x-rays to get an overall idea of your general dental health
WHY REGULAR DENTAL VISITS SHOULD BE ONE OF YOUR PRIORITIES IN 2018
WHY REGULAR DENTAL VISITS SHOULD BE ONE OF YOUR PRIORITIES IN 2018

In other words, utilise this opportunity to get your dental treatments done at a cheaper rate or subsidised or discounted bills

  1. DO AWAY WITH PLAQUE AND STAINS

One can be a most diligent daily brushers and flossers, and still have small inadequately accessible areas in the mouth especially in the case of misaligned or mal-positioned teeth that are missed by a regular brushing and flossing. When plaque (those sticky substances on the teeth) builds up it becomes more difficult to remove, solidifying and turning into tartar and look like potash, which is extremely difficult to get rid of without professional help.

  • Regular dental cleanings prevent tartar from destroying your tooth support. When tartar build up, it causes an infection where the gum is connected to the tooth, making the gum pull away from the tooth. At this very point it is officially considered as gum disease and most likely be evidenced by any of generalised or localised gum swelling, bleeding on brushing, or soreness in the mouth. This infection is referred to as gingivitis and with its progression , the tissue  which attaches the  gums to the teeth breaks down.
  • If left untreated it could be followed by a localised or generalised breakdown of the bone that holds teeth in place. At this point it is common to see teeth loosening and shaking or falling out altogether and a more professional treatment methods will have to be instituted by a dental specialist.
  • This can all be prevented with regular brushing, frequent flossing and periodic professional cleanings that take care of plaque and tartar before it becomes destructive.
  • A cleaning appointment is also more affordable and accessible than treating a diseased tooth, depending on the severity, can include extremely deep cleaning, surgery, and medication. To avoid all of this, regular dental cleanings are essential in catching and addressing gingivitis before it get so, if money’s tight you should make sure not to miss the cleanings
  • WHY REGULAR DENTAL VISITS SHOULD BE ONE OF YOUR PRIORITIES IN 2018
    WHY REGULAR DENTAL VISITS SHOULD BE ONE OF YOUR PRIORITIES IN 2018
  1. PREVENT TOOTH LOSS
  • The best and most inexpensive way to prevent tooth loss starts at home with excellent brushing and flossing habits every day. Routine and quality dental care twice a year is the next step. Preventive dental care that includes professional cleanings, examinations and fluoride treatments are crucial in preventing tooth loss.
  • Yearly visits can also help your dentist identify any dental issues early on to help prevent further and more serious damage and cavities
  • Not only do specialists require more dental visits or appointments, they would likely drain your pockets and make you learn in a hard way how to follow simple instructions to take care of your teeth and make your dental health one of your priorities.
WHY REGULAR DENTAL VISITS SHOULD BE ONE OF YOUR PRIORITIES IN 2018
WHY REGULAR DENTAL VISITS SHOULD BE ONE OF YOUR PRIORITIES IN 2018
  1. KEEPING BAD HABITS UNDER CONTROL

There are many bad habits that can have a negative impact on your oral health, some of which you may not even realize are causing issues. Some of these habits include brushing your teeth too hard or too frequently, using a toothbrush with hard bristles, chewing ice, biting your nails or other objects, sucking of fingers or lips, lip thrusting, clenching your jaw, grinding your teeth, eating particularly sticky or hard sweets, drinking coffee and red wine, and of course smoking of tobacco in all forms.

  • When you go for regular dental check-ups, your dentist can check for any oral damage caused by these or other habits which you may otherwise not have noticed. Being informed and counselled about specific abnormal (destructive) oral habits allows you to change or modify your lifestyle choice to prevent further damage. Visiting the dentist allows you to fix the damage that has already been done, and help your oral health be the best it can be.
  1. FIND PROBLEMS UNDER THE SURFACE WITH X-RAYS
  • A crucial part of visiting your dentist every six months is getting your teeth and jaw bone x-rayed. From the x-ray images on the dental films obtained using x-ray machines, dental professionals can see what is happening beneath the surfaces of your teeth to the bone, they can locate and diagnose several issues that may be invisible to the naked eye.
  • We often advice that it doesn’t matter if your teeth appear healthy and you have excellent or near-perfect oral hygiene status, visiting the dentist at least twice in a year should always be considered a great idea. Most times there may be underlying dental problems that only the dentist can identify and diagnose despite the apparent healthy look of the teeth. Regular check-ups, examinations and use of x-rays can keep your smile healthy and bright for a lifetime.
  • Some common problems like impacted teeth (embedded teeth) which are not fully seen in the mouth but pose great source of challenge as often seen in wisdom teeth can only be diagnosed by dentist before one experience the discomfort they are associated with.
  • Damaged jawbones following trauma, infection etc. can also be identified as well as any decay and swelling – cysts, or tumours, all of which are difficult or impossible to see without x-ray imaging system. Identifying and diagnosing these conditions or any other major oral issues as early as possible is very critical in their management
  • Especially with destructive diseases that show little to no symptoms but progress quickly, up-to-date use of x-rays machines and bi-annual check-ups are the best way to keep on top of your health.
  1. DENTAL HEALTH IMPACTS YOUR OVERALL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING.
  • There is a strong link between a person’s general health and a good oral health. The state of your teeth and gums can directly or indirectly impact virtually every system in your body which can be digestive or circulatory, reproductive or respiratory systems which are also meant to be priorities to enjoy better life. Maintaining good oral health can help reduce your risk of serious health problems.
  1. TO IMPROVE YOUR SELF-ESTEEM AND CONFIDENCE.

Don’t forget that your smile which is the most prominent facial gesture and a part of first impressions that people make out of you, is very important. A recent survey discovered that 94% of those polled said they are likely to notice a person’s smile when they meet them for the first time. A simple smile can do wonders for your self-esteem as it makes you look bright, beautiful and healthy. A subtle change in your countenance can make a drastic difference in your appearance and feeling Crowded, irregularly positioned, and protruding teeth have been a problem for some individuals since antiquity. Some people are battling with mouth odour and others with missing front teeth which affect them psychologically, so what stops you from adding  dental visits to the list of your health priorities this year?

WHY REGULAR DENTAL VISITS SHOULD BE ONE OF YOUR PRIORITIES IN 2018
WHY REGULAR DENTAL VISITS SHOULD BE ONE OF YOUR PRIORITIES IN 2018
  1. THERE’S NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT 
  • For the young people, the goal of treatment is to improve their quality of life. They usually seek comprehensive treatment and the maximum improvement that is possible. They may or may not need elaborate treatment with many dental specialists.
  • The adult seek to maintain what they have, not necessarily to achieve as ideal a result as possible. For them, treatment is needed to meet specific goals that would make control of dental disease and restoration of missing teeth easier and more effective, so the arrangement of teeth is an adjunctive procedure to the larger gum treatment and fillings goals. Thus, a full comprehensive dental care delivery tends to be more difficult and technically demanding for adults. So, my dear, I would conclude by saying ’the earlier the better, the earlier the cheaper, and the earlier the easier.’
  • If you’ve made it this far, go ahead and make that appointment! If you’re hesitant to make a dental appointment, feel free to leave a comment below and let me know why. I’ll try to get back to you and resolve any concerns you might have or  why regular dental visits should not be one of your priorities this new year

ADDITIONAL READING

Ten (10) Reasons Why You Need Healthy Teeth

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE CHOOSING YOUR DENTIST IN NIGERIA

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