Did you know that over half of all UK residents do not visit the dentist regularly at all? Did you know that going to a dentist every six months for a routine check up and a hygiene session decreases the risk of tooth decay by up to 60%? This and other very useful information can be read in this super helpful infographic. Upon reading it, it occurred to me how incredibly important and vital a role regular dental checkups play in maintaining teeth, and in preventing problems from occurring, and how most people are not aware of the function of check ups, and see them as merely a problematic appointment to get out of when it rolls around, if they do not forget them automatically.
Why checkups are important
Routine check ups serve more than one purpose, and none of them are to make your dentist happy or rich. The main reason we go to check ups instead of appointments is because problems can be seen and solved by six months time. Tooth decay happens gradually, over time, and in its earliest detectable phases, tooth decay is barely visible, but very easy and pain free to correct.
The other reason has to do with changes in your mouth. The oral environment, even a healthy one, changes very frequently, for different reasons at different stages in life. While we are young our teeth are growing in, and then the teeth start to decay and get messed up, they shift based on genetic programming, the wisdom teeth come in and shake everything around, they start to push teeth towards each other, and then tooth loss begins after that, so there is something for every stage of life. These changes and trends can be managed, and you do not have to suffer through them, as if they are discovered in time, they can be stopped, reversed and taken care of.
Because of misconceptions about oral health, many people tend to shirk away from check ups. Only 50% of those asked said that they have been to the dentist in the past six months, and only 21% said that they go to the dentist every year. At home oral hygiene is not enough to combat periodontitis and the formation of plaque, yet only 21% of UK adults use dental floss at all, with any regularity, and about 47% of them do not use mouthwash or dental floss at all. Because of these facts, about 84% of adults living in the UK have at least one, but usually more, dental fillings. Fillings are almost always caught before they get out of hand, unless they are caused by a dental trauma or some similar problem, in which case they will not be caught as they cannot be foreseen. Only 15% of adults in the UK have dental phobia, so most of them have no excuse at all.