Have you ever bought a new car and told yourself, “I’m going to take great care of this car. I’ll wash it every week, change the oil when due, do the mileage tune-ups and keep the inside spotless”? But the “new” wears off and little by little your commitment fades and the tasks are performed less and less frequently. Eventually the car may need a lot of TLC and some expensive repairs to get it back into good condition. How does this analogy apply to your oral health?
The Value of a Good Maintenance Program
Just like the car, your teeth start in good shape but require daily care and routine maintenance to stay that way. Eat a healthy diet, don’t drink sugary beverages, brush twice daily and floss once daily — pretty simple maintenance advice to keep your teeth and gums in good shape. When you add routine dental exams and cleaning once or twice a year, you have a prescription for healthy teeth and gums.
When these guidelines aren’t followed, the bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease is free to accumulate. The once easily treated problem can grow from gingivitis to periodontitis, which can cause tooth and bone loss. Missing teeth can be unsightly, but the loss also can allow other teeth to drift into the now-open area, your bite can get out of alignment, and you can’t chew properly.
Routine checkups allow us to identify any problem while it is still relatively minor and requires less extensive (and less expensive) measures to repair. For instance, we might identify a small cavity that can be repaired with a simple filling restoration. But if left untreated, that simple cavity will continue to grow. In a worst-case scenario, the decay could eventually involve the pulp and root of your tooth and require a root canal or even extraction. At that point you could need a crown — or a bridge or implant, if the tooth is extracted. In hindsight, it’s easy enough to agree that the restoration of the small cavity had the potential to save the tooth and a lot of time and expense.
Taking Care of Yourself Last?
Sometimes we neglect to care for ourselves because we aren’t experiencing a problem, but that is actually the perfect time to bring yourself into our office for a checkup and cleaning. When it comes to your oral health, the adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is absolutely true. No matter what condition your teeth and gums may be in, now is the time to give them the care they need.
We look forward to seeing you in our office. Call for a consultation today so we can work with you to achieve excellent oral health.
All the best,