Skipping a dentist appointment is not good. You’re supposed to have biannual dental checkups for a reason. A dental visit is essential to keeping your teeth clean beyond what normal brushing can do. The dentist is also responsible for catching any little problems before they become big ones. Remember, even if you only skip one appointment, that means you might be waiting 6 months until your next one. That’s 6 more months of plaque buildup and potential tooth decay.
What Happens When You Skip An Appointment?
While delaying your appointment a few weeks isn’t likely to make a huge difference in your dental health (unless you’re dealing with pain or discomfort from an unresolved dental issue), skipping a dentist appointment and waiting months or even years before going back to the dentist office could have serious consequences for your health.
Plaque is building up all the time, even if you’re a thorough brusher. Regular cleanings and checkups at the dentist remove that buildup to keep your teeth healthy. The longer you wait, the more risk you have of experiencing a cavity, tooth decay, or a more serious health issue.
Think of it like owning a vehicle. If you don’t take care of your car with regular oil changes and repairs, it might work for a while without seeming to show any signs. Eventually, however, your car could break down and leave you stranded, cause an accident, or need more expensive repairs that could have been avoided. You wouldn’t continue to drive a car that’s in need of serious repairs and in danger of breaking down, so why would you neglect your dental health?
Your dentist does more than just clean your teeth. In addition to regular cleanings, your dentist performs important preventative care and checkups that protect your health in the long run. Your dentist takes X-rays of your teeth to look for structural deficiencies, conducts checks of your gums and tongue for indicators of disease, and examines the state of your enamel for wear and vulnerabilities. If you’re consistently skipping a dentist appointment, you could be at an increased risk of tooth decay, bad breath, gum disease, infection, or even cancer.
How Often Should You See Your Dentist?
At minimum, to maintain your dental health, you should visit your dentist twice annually for cleanings, and receive X-rays once per year. If you experience dental problems like cavities or tooth pain you may need to see your dentist more often. Also, if you’re working with your dentist on aesthetic correction, you will likely need to see your dentist frequently throughout the year to make sure treatment is going according to plan.
When you visit your dentist for your regular cleaning, it’s a good idea to schedule your next appointment ahead of time. That way, you won’t forget to visit the dentist when it’s time for your teeth to be cleaned again. Your dentist will remind you before your next appointment to make it easy for you to remember.
How Long is Too Long After Skipping a Dentist Appointment?
If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the dentist, it’s best to get an appointment scheduled as soon as possible. It’s never too late to get a handle on your dental health, and your dentist can help you address any damage or issues that they find to make sure your teeth, gums, and mouth are healthy and happy.
Skipped your dentist appointment and afraid of the consequences? Call Creason, Weber & Mountford today. We’d be happy to get you into our office for a checkup and cleaning as soon as possible.