The Christmas holiday is a wonderful time to catch up with friends and family, eat great food, and relax after a year of hard work. During that time we may let go and enjoy more indulgent foods than we ordinarily would. Post-Christmas, the back to work/school season begins.
Important dental appointments may sometimes be pushed back a few months, to make way for activities that are a higher priority. However, the post-Christmas dental check-up is as important as any other new year’s appointment. It ensures you are fit and productive during this hectic period. Here are six reasons why you should book your post-Christmas dental appointment.
Clean plaque and tartar
Over the year, despite great dental hygiene, teeth will have a build-up of plaque. Plaque and tartar can weaken teeth and cause gum disease. Dental hygienists are trained to safely scrub enamel, removing plaque before it hardens to tartar. Tartar is really hard to clean at home and can lead to cavities if left untreated for long. A professional tooth cleaning should be scheduled once or twice a year.
Use dental insurance
If your medical insurance also covers a dental checkup, it makes sense to use it up before the year ends. Many insurance packages don’t offer roll-overs, so check your policy and sneak in that last dental appointment before the end of the calendar year. If your limits allow it, get the whole family checked and treated.
Find problems early
A key aspect of dental check-ups at the end of the year is to spot any teeth and gum concerns before they get worse. Potential problems include cavities, inflamed gums, impacted wisdom teeth, oral cancer, and root canals. Early diagnosis of any teeth or gum related issues may lead to a better prognosis and early treatment, which may help avert issues in the future.
Check that daily oral hygiene is satisfactory
After examining your teeth and gums, your dentist can confirm whether your daily oral hygiene routine is working, or whether you need to tweak it to improve your oral health. They will also advise you on the right toothbrush and technique for brushing to ensure you’re doing your part in keeping up your oral health. During the checkup, your dentist can advise you on lifestyle habits that either improve or adversely affect your oral hygiene.
Do your gums bleed when you brush your teeth or when you are eating? You may have gum disease. Gum disease can develop from infected gums going untreated over a long period. If left untreated this can result in bad breath, loss of teeth, or underweight newborn babies, among other issues. Your dental hygienist can treat gum disease at its early stages.
Oral health issues such as gum disease can lead to other issues manifesting in your body, such as heart disease and osteoporosis. Dental problems have been known to escalate into blood infections, and in some cases, death. Once you’re in the hospital for a separate condition, your doctor may be unable to trace the problem to your teeth. However, early detection can avoid all the drama.
In conclusion, end-of-year dental appointments are extremely important for your dental hygiene and oral health, as well as your overall health. The appointment can not only help gum disease by cleaning out plaque and tartar but can also identify issues such as teeth that may need a root canal or oral cancer. The check-up may already be covered by your health insurance. It would be a waste not to claim this benefit since it’s not likely to be rolled over to the next year. Ensure you don’t miss your next appointment before the new year begins.