Have you visited your dentist in the past six months? October is National Dental Hygiene Month, a month dedicated to promoting oral health for all across the country, and celebrating the dentists and dental hygienists who work so hard to make sure our teeth are squeaky clean. The best way to observe National Dental Hygiene Month is to make sure you are taking care of your pearly whites by practicing routine oral hygiene, educating yourself on the importance of oral health, and visiting your dentist regularly.
A dental appointment may not be your favorite appointment, but regular dental check-ups are imperative to maintaining a healthy mouth. Even if you brush and floss regularly, dentists can check for more serious health issues like gum disease and oral cancer. Join dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants in celebrating National Dental Hygiene Month by learning more about oral health and the reasons why regular dental visits are so important.
One of the best ways to keep your teeth in excellent health is by brushing and flossing twice a day, every day. However, even the most diligent brushers and flossers miss small, hard to reach areas of the mouth where plaque and tartar easily build up. A dental hygienist has specialized tools that are designed to remove the plaque and tartar around your teeth during a dental cleaning. Regular dental cleanings ensure that plaque and tartar build up does not begin to erode your teeth or create cavities. The cavity prevention that a regular dental cleaning provides saves you time, pain and money.
Removal of plaque and tartar not only prevents cavities, but also protects your mouth from developing gum disease. When tartar builds up, it can result in an infection in the gum, causing it to pull away from the tooth. The most common gum disease, known as gingivitis, causes swelling, bleeding and soreness as the gum tissue begins to break down. Treatment of severe gum disease will sometimes require expensive and painful surgeries. A regular dental checkup can save you and your gums a lot of pain by detecting gum disease before it progresses.
Oral cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the tissues of the mouth or throat and can spread to the lymph nodes of the neck. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of oral cancer is key to treating it easily and successfully. Oral cancer can only be detected by dental screenings in which your dentist will check for red or white patches, spots that are bleeding and won’t heal, or a hard lump in your mouth. Detecting oral cancer early through regular dental checkups every six months could save your life.
Another important aspect of a regular dental visit is getting an x-ray of your teeth and jawbone. These x-ray images allow your dentist to check for any bone decay, swelling, cysts, or tumors that may not be visible from the surface. Your dentist will also be able to check for impacted teeth, or wisdom teeth, that have not pushed through the gumline and may need to be extracted.
Regular dental visits also give you peace of mind about your overall health. If you go to the dentist regularly, you will avoid dangerous dental infections, cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer. You will leave your dental checkup with very clean teeth, a new toothbrush, and information about how to maintain your oral health. Between check-ups, remember to floss daily, brush twice a day for two minutes, and rinse with mouth wash regularly.
Are you passionate about dental health and helping others? If so, a career as a dental assistant may be perfect for you. To join the 300,000 dental assistants in the U.S. helping Americans have clean teeth and peace of mind, schedule a tour at Genesis Career College to learn more about our Dental Assistant Program today.