Adjusting to this new COVID-19 era has many of us questioning the errands we are running and our purposes for leaving our homes. Ten weekly trips to the grocery store may now get consolidated into one, trips to the mall may now get replaced with online shopping, and nights splurged on eating out might now get swapped for ordering in. Don’t plan on skipping your Six-Month Dental Cleaning.
Weighing the value of trips outside the home against possible exposure risks might have us evaluating our preventative health appointments, too. And though dental offices have historically operated on rigorous OSHA-required cleaning protocols pre-pandemic, our routine six-month hygiene appointments still are often the first ones to go. Even with strict adherence to government-mandated sterilization procedures, caution to avoid possible exposure might have us debating the decision to cancel or postpone that routine dental checkup you have had on your calendar since your last time in the office. Because if it is preventative, it can wait, right? Think again. Though not often urgent, hygiene visits to see your local dentist can save you time, money, and any need for urgent or emergency dental visits in the future.
In honor of October being National Dental Hygiene Month, here’s why you should leave—or put—that six-month appointment on your calendar.
Early Detection in Oral Screenings Can Make a Huge Impact on Your Health and Treatment Options
One of the biggest reasons to make sure you see your local dentist every six months is to ensure the health of your teeth and gums are in tip-top shape. With dentists and hygienists screening you at every visit, the early stages of oral issues such as periodontal disease, gingivitis, tooth cracks, grinding, cavities, and cancer can be identified while there is still time to treat it or absolve it completely. Screening for oral cancer or the beginning stages of oral cancer is especially important, as early detection can greatly improve recovery or available treatment options.
Our oral health can also elude a skilled medical professional about other health issues we may have, in areas completely unrelated to our mouths. Issues such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and anxiety could be related to the amount of tartar buildup, grinding, color, or even odors present in our mouths. Choosing to only visit your local dentist once a year because your teeth seem to look and feel “fine” leaves a large window for diseases to progress and create more complex health problems in the future. Oral Hygiene Treatments
Preventative Cleanings Every Six-Months Can Save You More Time and Money
Not only is catching oral issues important, but preventing them is even more so! Frequent visits to your dental clinic often allow your dentist to take preventative actions to ensure your teeth continue to stay clean and well cared for in-between visits. Fluoride treatments replace minerals missing from the surface of your teeth to help combat the erosion of enamel by bacteria. Fluoride can also help to eliminate new bacteria growth and repair cavities in their earliest stages. Thorough flossing can remove food and plaque between teeth that you may have missed at home before it creates cavities or soft spots. And stain removal and polishing can remove water spots and other defects on your teeth while they are still easy to remove—leaving your teeth shiny and smooth.
Preventative measures taken by your local dentist every six months also cost less than you will pay if issues go unnoticed and need more complex repairs in the future. Once pain is detected, more invasive procedures such as root canals, oral surgery, and fillings will always cost more than the $30 fluoride tray or simple routine checkup would have at the six-month mark!
The Dentist Isn’t as Scary as You Think
Although dental phobia is one of the most common fears among children and adults, many dental offices like Hunsaker Dental will take as many steps as needed to ensure you feel as safe and comfortable as possible. If you have a question about a procedure or tool? Ask us! Our dentists, hygienists, and assistants are happy to take as much time as you need to explain everything they will be doing in your mouth and everything they will be using.
Did you have a bad experience in the past that makes you apprehensive about coming in? Tell us about it! We want you to be comfortable in our chair just as much as you want to be. Knowing what gives you anxiety about seeing us allows us to be extra cautious that the same experience doesn’t happen again in any of our Salem or Monmouth dental offices.
Finally, if you have extra-sensitive gums or a particularly bad gag reflex, tell us that too. Knowing ahead of time what causes you discomfort or pain might give us the ability to circumnavigate it or be extra gentle.
Worried about COVID-19? Dental Offices are Extra Sterile—Even Before the Pandemic
Though the Coronavirus has us conscientious of the exposure we may confront in various offices (especially where hands in our mouths are concerned!), dental offices have been leaders in sterilization long before the pandemic arrived. A strict compliance expectation with OSHA makes dental offices some of the cleanest places you can visit. Remember, a dentist, hygienist, or assistant was prepared before every appointment to deal with all sorts of body fluids and infectious diseases before COVID-19 even existed, and now that it does, local dental offices like Hunsaker Dental have doubled down on their sterilization efforts. Skipping your Six-Month Dental Cleaning
If you are still concerned about cleanliness and want to know that your health is in good hands during your visit, call your office and ask about their COVID-19 protocol. For Hunsaker Dental, you can read up on our COVID-19 protocol for all patients at our Salem and Monmouth dental offices here. If you still have concerns, feel free to give us a call or send us an email.
With October being National Dental Hygiene Month, don’t forget how important it is to see your local dentist every six months. Give us a call today to set up a dental hygiene appointment at our Salem or Monmouth dental clinic, and let us know if you have any concerns. Many things have changed in 2020, but don’t let your dental health be one of them!