Visiting the dentist twice a year for a professional cleaning and checkup goes a long way in preserving natural teeth and healthy gums, but there are other steps patients can take to improve those regular dental visits.
Statistics suggest that as many as 90% of the adult population utilize improper brushing techniques, and as little as half of the adult population brush their teeth less than once per day. Nearly a quarter of adults have untreated dental caries (cavities), and less than two-thirds of the adult population has visited a dentist for a routine checkup within the last 12 months.
Routine visits involve more than just a professional cleaning. During the visit, the dentist inspects the gums for signs of gum disease, which if left untreated can lead to serious health problems. Cancer screening is also conducted, looking for early signs of problems to come. When cavities are detected early, they can be treated quickly to prevent further damage to the teeth, and if the patient experiences any abnormal sensitivity or discomfort, this can also be addressed. Signs of potentially harmful habits, such as teeth grinding, clenching, nail biting, and other behaviors, can be discussed during the routine appointments along with the risks associated with each behavior.
Some estimates show that nearly a third of the adult population use their teeth inappropriately, to open bottles, chew on pens, bite their nails, or other non-food items including ice. Addressing these behaviors and working to stop them will help reduce risk of damage to teeth. Typical damage can include chipping, breaking, and uneven wearing down of the teeth. Although they are very strong, natural teeth can be weakened from excessive pressure. Grinding and clenching behaviors, as well as chewing on ice or non-food items, increase the risks of permanent damage to teeth.
For more information on improving behavioral habits and at-home oral health care, contact Howl Dental at 918-749-1626 today!