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With proper care and maintenance, your teeth can last your whole lifetime. Some individuals never lose a tooth all their lives, but most of us are not that lucky. While a number of factors play a part in our dental lifetime scenarios, the key in preserving overall dental health is visiting the dentist regularly.
Without proper dental evaluations, you may not realize that your teeth are already infected or rotting. Most people wait until they feel pain before seeing a dentist. In most cases, lack of pain does not signify optimal dental health. Plus, even if there is no tooth decay, other issues may need to be fixed, such as gum disease or TMJ disorders. Only a dental professional can give you the correct diagnosis for such conditions.
If you are just starting to realize the importance of dental health care, here is your guide in identifying the right time to visit your dentist.
1. For regular dental check-ups, twice a year
The standard recommendation for regular dental check-ups by the American Dental Association is semi-annually. On a semi-annual check-up, you will be given a thorough examination, which includes professional cleaning and X-ray. Cleaning is necessary to keep plaque from building up in your teeth, which can cause tooth decay. X-rays are done to get updated records of the inside of your teeth and ensure that there is no major change in your jaw bone and tooth structure.
Regular check-ups are often disregarded by patients, who only visit whenever they experience pain. But these visits are an important step in ensuring optimal dental health. If you only visit your dentist once a year, you may end up with a dental problem which could have been prevented if you had visited at an earlier time. Dental cleanings preserve oral health and the pearly white color of your teeth.
2. For most dental concerns, within a week
If you feel something painful or unusual in your teeth or gums that doesn’t resolve within two or three days, contact Stetson Hills. A dull ache in the tooth or gums is a sign of a cavity, infection, and gum disease. These are best detected in the early stages because they will be easier to treat and cause less damage to your teeth. If these cases worsen, you may need to have your tooth extracted or a root canal.
3. For a major dental issue, as soon as possible
If you have experienced trauma to your mouth or teeth where a tooth has come out or broken off, or where you feel severe pain, you need to call Stetson Hill immediately. Other major dental issues that require immediate attention include severe gum disease where your gums will also feel painful, tender, and swollen, and bleed. Some of your teeth may be loose or unstable. This is because the gums are slowly receding and the supporting bone can no longer hold the teeth in place.
Another major dental issue is when severe tooth decay has reached the pulp of the tooth. The pulp is a tissue inside the tooth, protected by the enamel and dentine. When bacteria eats into the pulp, it allows air, liquids, and food get into the hollow part of the tooth easily, thereby touching the root and causing extreme pain.
This pain can last for days and may also include swelling and tenderness.
If you experience any of these severe dental problems, you should immediately visit Stetson Hills Dental for a check-up, assessment, and proposed treatment plan. Don’t wait or postpone your dental visit, because if you let these problems worsen, you may end up compromising the health of your other teeth.
4. For follow-ups, as scheduled by your dentist
There are procedures that require post-treatment care. It is important for your dentist to make sure that the procedure was done correctly and that your mouth functions the way it ought to. If there is something that needs to be altered, fixed, or improved further, your dentist will advise you on another follow-up appointment. Don’t ignore your follow-up dental appointments, especially after a major treatment as health consequences can result due to negligence .
If ever you have difficulties with your mouth or teeth and are not sure what to do, call Dr. Moore today at Stetson Hills at (719) 838-5013, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions, or book an appointment for assessment.