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An Apple a Day Keeps the... Dentist Away?

Author: Katherine MacMillan


Should you postpone going to the dentist? For some, it definitely is not their favourite place. A global pandemic doesn’t quite help either. However, in general, is it okay to postpone going to the dentist? What happens if you don’t go for a check-up every six months… or even five years?


Let’s start with the basics. Plaque is a sticky substance that can build up on your teeth and harm your enamel (Cleveland Clinic, 2020). Everyone has some form of plaque, and regular brushing and flossing can help with this. However, plaque can harden into tartar, and this cannot be removed by brushing and flossing (Cleveland Clinic, 2020). At regular dental cleanings, plaque and tartar can be scraped from your teeth to maintain your oral health! This is beneficial because if left unchecked, plaque and tartar may lead to cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss (Family Dental Health Clinic, 2017).


Regular visits to the dentist are also for more than just cleanings! Your dentist and hygienist also perform health check-ups every time you go. These check-ups can include screening for oral cancer, checking for gum disease, and occasionally taking X-rays to check for cavities (123Dentist, 2019). They may also check your teeth for signs of grinding or clenching, and for any potential problems with your jaw alignment (123Dentist, 2019). Check-ups are an important part of visiting the dentist, as your oral health can be related to the health of the rest of your body. For example, poor oral health may be linked to heart disease, diabetes, strokes, and breast cancer (123Dentist, 2019)!


With all the benefits that can come from regular dental visits, you should try not to postpone them if you are able to! Between appointments, you can also take care of your teeth by brushing and flossing regularly. Your teeth and overall health will thank you!



Citations

  1. 123Dentist. (2019, May 6). What Happens During a Routine Dental Checkup? 123Dentist. https://www.123dentist.com/happens-routine-dental-checkup/.

  2. Cleveland Clinic. (2020, October 14). Dental Plaque. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/10953-plaque#:~:text=Plaque%20is%20a%20sticky%20film,the%20bones%20that%20support%20teeth.

  3. Family Dental Health Clinic. (2017, September 25). What Happens When You Don’t Go to the Dentist? Family Dental Health Clinic. https://www.familydentalhealth.com/happens-dont-go-dentist/#:~:text=Patients%20who%20neglect%20proper%20care,diabetes%2C%20stroke%20and%20breast%20cancer.