Regular checkups lead to lasting dental health

Regular checkups lead to lasting dental health

Except for a few fringe cases, such as those with severe diabetes, almost everyone is capable of enjoying good dental health into old age. The stereotype of the old man forgetting to put his dentures in is almost always the result of decades of poor oral hygiene. With good flossing, brushing and nutrition, nearly everyone can keep the majority of their original teeth, well into their 80s.

However, this was not always the case. Prior to the advent of modern dentistry, merely brushing and flossing were often not enough. Dr Nancy Halsema – Top Dentist in Carmel Indiana says that the continually decreasing number of older Americans who need dentures, a number that has fallen dramatically since the 1950s, is mostly due to the improvements in family dentistry. Today, those with crooked or malformed teeth in childhood, which can lead to oral hygiene difficulties later in life, have highly effective treatments to fully correct the problem. Older patients with decaying teeth or gum disease have access to treatments like root canals, crowns and single tooth extractions. These all add up to much improved dental health overall in the U.S. population.

But the single most important thing that people can do to ensure good ongoing dental health is scheduling regular checkups with their dentist. Even with the best oral hygiene practices, colonies of bacteria with hard, durable shells called plaques will form on the teeth and around the gum line. These tough plaques cannot be removed with conventional oral hygiene techniques. Using special tools, such as high speed motorized brushes and surgical picks, a licensed dentist can safely remove these plaques, without causing damage to the surrounding mouth structures.

Leaving these plaques in place over years will result in more and more bacteria colonizing the mouth. If not treated, these bacterial plaques always lead to tooth decay and the gum disease gingivitis. Once these processes begin, if there is no intervention by a trained dentist, these diseases will progress to periodontitis and severe tooth decay. Both of these diseases will eventually result in tooth loss. The old man with dentures is usually the end result of uncorrected periodontitis and severe rotting of the teeth. All of this begins with letting plaque grow out of control.

It is because of this that the real reason for the dramatically improved general dental health of Americans are the many advances in dentistry that have taken place since the 1950s. Even for those people with relatively poor dental hygiene habits, seeing a dentist every six months will give them a very high chance of making it into old age with all of their teeth still intact.

And maintaining a nice smile isn’t even the most important reason to schedule regular appointments with your dentist. It is now known that maintaining good oral health is a positive predictor of overall health and longevity. Seeing your dentist on a regular basis can help reduce the incidence of heart attack, stroke and even oral cancers. If you haven’t done so already, make your next dental appointment today!

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