Going to the doctor every year for a check-up, a visit when nothing is actually wrong, is very common and most people do this as a smart preventative measure. For some reason, the same attitude never seems to involve regular visits to the dentist, even though the situation is virtually the same.
The great folks at Dent8 know that this is a mind-set that needs to change, and people need to start seeing the dentist whether a tooth hurts or not.
By the time you start to feel pain in your teeth or gums, the damage is already getting to be considerable. At that point, you are far more likely to need serious work to heal or repair what has developed. Going to the dentist at least once a year is a much better way to keeping yourself healthy. A professional will spot minor issues and help get them corrected before they get serious.
But why doesn’t it hurt? The main reason we don’t immediately feel pain when tooth damage first begins is because the nerves are well-protected inside the hard enamel body of the tooth.
Small cavities that are forming on the outside aren’t felt, though you might feel a developing hole with your tongue. That’s about it. In order for that tooth to start to feel pain, the hole has to grow all the way through. If you wait until then, you’re looking at a large filling or worse.
Disease and damage to the gums tends to have the same problem, we just don’t feel it when problems first begin. Once your gums are getting tender or sore, they’re already quite unhealthy.
The bottom line here is that you shouldn’t wait until you feel pain to make that dental appointment. A simple check-up is usually quite painless and shouldn’t be avoided out of fear. Even if you chose to avoid cleaning sessions, an examination and check up really are important every year.
This is particularly important if you have children. Your kids learn by example, and will take their own oral health seriously as they get older if they see you having regular check up appointments.
If you haven’t been to the dentist in many years (or even decades), that doesn’t mean it’s too late to start taking care of your teeth. Make an appointment, and let the dentist know that you haven’t been seen in a while. There is a good chance they will strongly recommend getting a cleaning and hopefully there won’t be any serious problems to report after your examination.
And of course, it should be mentioned that if you do start to feel pain in your mouth, see a dentist right away. Since we’ve already established that it takes a serious problem to develop before it starts to hurt, there is a good chance you need medical care. Never assume that it’s nothing or that it will just go away on its own.