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The “Why” Behind Adult Dental Care

Dentist Independence MissouriHave you ever wondered why the American Dental Association recommends a visit to the dentist at least every 6 months? Well, there’s a reason why your kids learn in school, on television, and in shopping malls that regular dental visits are critical for your health. Regular dental checkups are essential for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums. Unfortunately, 40 percent of adults forego dental examinations each year. Since we are now offering adult services, it’s important to know the “why” behind adult dental care.

Here’s what many adults say to get out of regular dental care:

My Health is Great

Many adults avoid regular dental checkups because their teeth simply feel fine. However, tooth decay and gum disease aren’t overnight problems. They are slow and progressive. Regular dental checkups can ensure early prevention, instead of an aching mouth years down the road. Professionals can detect warning signs and help prevent poor oral condition if you’re at risk.

Only School-Aged Kids Get Cavities

Not true at all. Tooth decay isn’t just a problem for children. If you have teeth, you are at risk of tooth decay. Over time, plaque produces acid that eats away at enamel to cause a cavity. Even if you already have fillings and your health is great, adults are more susceptible to plaque buildup and gum disease than children. In addition, tooth decay, especially if you have old fillings, can be common among older adults.

It Costs Too Much

Did you know that 1 in 3 adults forego a dental examination because of the cost. After many years, this can lead to increased health problems. A study from the American Dental Association reveals what’s known as the “Dental Divide”: One group can afford to go to the dentist, goes to the dentist, and has good oral health. The second group can’t afford dental care, doesn’t go, and consequently finds themselves with poor oral health, which can be very expensive to treat. Dental care is an investment. One hundred dollars in prevention is far wiser than thousands of dollars spent on extractions and fillings, procedures that ultimately could have been avoided.

Dental checkups are necessary for all ages. And it you are a member of a high risk group, it’s even more critical to visit the dentist regularly.

High Risk Groups

  • Pregnant women are at risk of swollen gums, increased tooth decay and tooth sensitivity due to changes in hormone levels. If you are pregnant, talk to your dentist about pain or changes you experience.
  • Smokers have a high risk of gum disease and tooth decay due to the number of carcinogens in cigarettes and the drying effect that smoking has on your mouth. Without effective saliva production, bacteria adhere to your teeth and tongue to create bad breath and cavities. While quitting tobacco is the best option, your dentist can suggest options for a healthy mouth.
  • Cancer patients are also at risk. If you are planning to start chemotherapy, visit us before you begin treatment. Chemotherapy treatments can cause oral problems like jaw stiffness and dry mouth. These side effects can be very uncomfortable, but we would be happy to offer advice and comfort options to make your experience as comfortable as possible.

Whether you are a member of a high risk group or not, seeing your dentist every six months, supplemented with good oral care at home, is the best way to keep your teeth and gums healthy. So stop making excuses and make dental visits a date with your kids! Happy Smiles in Independence, Missouri is a kid friendly facility. And now, we offer adult services! So next time you sign your kids up for a dental visit, go with them! Healthy mouths are a lifetime commitment, not just something mom makes you do when you’re in school. Give us a call to schedule your appointments today!