The Long-Term Benefits of Visiting the Dentist

Smiling woman receiving an exam

Among every article or piece of advice your receive from your dentists, visiting the dentist regularly is the primary piece of advice given. However, according to the ADA, back in 2014, 52.3% of adults reported that they had visited the dentist every six months, with 15.4% reported once per year and 11.0% reported once every two to three years. This statistic presents a huge problem with today’s reality for oral health. People, whether unable to afford dental care or just choose not to for various reasons, are at more risk of developing cavities and tooth problems later on in life. Even with good oral habits, maintaining oral health requires the expertise of dental professionals to not only treat and resolve oral health issues but also prevent them from ever occurring in the first place. 

What the Studies State About Routine Visits

One of the biggest studies that show the effects of long-term visits to the dentist have on oral health comes from The Journal of Dental Research. The study began with analyzing the connection between dental visits and lower experience with dental caries and missing teeth by age 32. Within the study, 972 participants between the ages of 15 and 32 were examined and reported their oral health habits. Each age group received dental examinations for their oral health, with third molars not included in the observation of tooth loss, and each participant was given a health comparison to rate their oral health with other persons their age. Researchers throughout the study also analyzed the socio-economic status using the standards from New Zealand and then measured the plaque accumulation among those age groups to represent their self-care standards and determine their oral health. 

By gathering data from these individuals and analyzing the effects of those attenders, those with longer routine attendance maintained a stronger effect on their oral health routines and better health overall. Through analyzing this data, the study showed that the routine habits from those ages 15 improved overtime by age 32. The study also showed an increase in routine attendance with age for those between ages 26 to 32. When looking at their plaque accumulation during their dental examination, those with long-term routine attendees showed less accumulation of plaque and decay than those who have untreated dental surfaces. The conclusion of the study showed that the notion of routine dental visits can bring about better oral health outcomes and that promoting dental visits can help bring about cleaner, healthier teeth. 

Why Prevention Is Vital For Oral Health

Studies like this show that routine dental visits can provide a drastic improvement to oral health over time. So, why do dental visits provide such a valuable asset to people’s mouths? Preventative care is the answer. Preventative care is all the aspects of your dental visit that are, well, routine. X-rays, cleanings, dental sealants, and fluoride treatment all make up the essential components of good dental care and are one of the most covered treatments from dental insurance companies. Visiting the dentist gives you these resources and can help reinforce good oral habits for a lifetime. For those still wondering about why preventative care and routine visits are essential, our reasons include: 

  • Helps Prevent Oral Diseases – Gum disease, periodontal disease, tooth decay, and even oral cancer can be detected by dentists using the latest technologies and screenings. When mouth pain occurs, finding the cause for the pain takes a dentist with years of experience. Oral diseases such as gum disease require special attention due to the severity and the health implications that occur from these conditions. 
  • Detect Early Signs of Cavities – Cavities can occur at any point and can be indicators for other conditions. Cavities, once they start, need to be treated, and detecting the early signs of cavities is what dentists do best. Cavities are one of the most prevalent problems in today’s age due to various reasons, and dentists detecting and treating cavities can suggest better lifestyle changes to improve your dental health. 
  • Learn Better Cleaning Habits – Have you ever gained advice about where you need to brush your teeth the most? Most often, dentists can see where brushing habits lack in terms of their patient’s oral care, and thus when they look at the structure of their mouths, they can identify weak points in their dental health and give specialist advice. 
  • Receive Specialized Oral Care – Product recommendation, referrals to dental specialists, and tackling long-term problems with oral care are what dentists do best. If your general dentist suggests visiting an orthodontist because you’re experiencing some teeth grinding at night or a periodontist because your gums are inflamed, then that means that your care is specialized to your needs. 

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Dr. Chris Vinson and Dr. Kristie Vinson Tulsa Precision Dental creates beautiful smiles through modern dentistry, working through the latest restorative and cosmetic techniques to meet our patients' needs and their families in Tulsa, OK. Our practice, operated by Drs. Chris and Kristie Vinson, believes in using preventative care values to achieve the most out of people's dental care.
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