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We all remember, when we were kids, Mom or Dad would take us to get a teeth cleaning at the dentist – right? It was fun, easy and you usually got a surprise at the end! Do you still go to your dentist regularly like you did back then? You may be too old now to get a toy, but you certainly get a reward for keeping up with those regular dental hygiene exams – your health!

According to the American Dental Association, “the mouth is a window into the health of your body and can show signs of nutritional deficiencies or general infection”. Gum disease, for example, can be caused by diabetes; loose teeth (as an adult) can signal osteoporosis; and persistent mouth soreness could be oral cancer. As a practicing dentist for over 20 years, Dr. Henritze said, “A dentist can be the first line of defense when something is wrong. We can tell things through the mouth and teeth that may not be apparent other places in the body.”

Attending your regularly scheduled dental exams helps you practice preventative care, which, when done correctly, can catch any dental issues earlier rather than later. “A small thing can snowball into something huge,” Dr. Henritze stressed. “It is much easier to treat a small cavity now rather than a root canal later.” Regular checkups also help fight against gum disease, which is caused by the buildup of tartar and plaque. Brushing your teeth is not enough to remove this tartar and plaque; you must see a dentist for professional cleaning.

Most dental insurance, fully or partially, covers routine dental exams. It makes sense for your health, and your wallet, to take advantage of those benefits rather than only going to the dentist when your teeth or gums hurt. At that point, you may be in for a more intense procedure and a bigger bill. “The simplest reason to make regular dental exams is to catch any issues early, I cannot stress that enough,” Dr. Henritze added.

Frequency of your exams can be determined by your dentist, and may factor in any existing health issues, dental issues and other conditions. For example, the American Dental Association states that “high-risk patients would likely benefit from more frequent visits, while low-risk patients may see the same benefits from only one cleaning yearly.”

The best way to determine the schedule for your optimal oral health is to see your dentist. If you’d like Dr. Henritze to take a look and set you up on a regular schedule, request an appointment online or call us to talk through your needs. In addition to dental hygiene exams, we also offer an extensive line of dental services. Give us a call or visit our website to learn more about our comprehensive dental care that is designed to help you reach and maintain ideal oral health.