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Having to visit the dentist every six months may not be the appointment that everyone looks forward to, but it is one of the most important ones to keep.

While there are always countless reasons for not going to the dentist, it’s important to keep an eye on the long term future of your teeth.  While it might be an immediate inconvenience, by taking care of your smile, you significantly increase your oral health and the chances of avoiding expensive dental procedures in the future (because unfortunately trying to forget about dental problems won’t make them go away).

Having a check-up from your dentist regularly offers many benefits to your health.  Some of these benefits include:

  1. Early diagnosis of tooth decay.   The primary reason to visit your dentist regularly is to prevent or correct dental issues such as tooth decay and gum problems before they become a problem. These issues may seem minor at first, but they can lead to more serious problems and even major dental concerns if they are not addressed early.
  2. Keeping bad dental habits in check.  There are many bad habits that can have a negative impact on oral health, some of which you may not even realise are even causing issues. Some of these habits include chewing ice, biting your nails, clenching your jaw, grinding your teeth, eating particularly sticky or hard sweets, brushing your teeth too hard, drinking coffee and red wine, and smoking.  When you go for regular dental check-ups, your dentist can check for any oral damage caused by these or other habits which you may otherwise not have noticed. Being informed about specific destructive habits allows you to change or alter your lifestyle choice to prevent further damage.
  3. Complete cleaning of your teeth.  While you’re cleaning habits might be really great, there are still small areas in the mouth that are missed by regular brushing and flossing. When plaque builds up, it becomes more difficult to remove, solidifying and turning into tartar, which is extremely difficult to get rid of without professional help.  A cleaning appointment is also more affordable than getting a filling, so if money’s tight you should make sure not to miss a dental clean as part of your check-up.
  4. Find health problems under the surface.  X-ray images allow dental professionals to see what is happening beneath the surfaces of your mouth, and can find and diagnose issues that may be invisible to the naked eye.  Problems can include more than just dental issues too, with tumours, swelling, bone decay detectable through the process.

As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.  Visiting your dentist twice a year will help make maintain your dental hygiene and health, but can also save you money and time in the long run.

And a quick reminder to Phoenix Health Fund Members:  Remember to bring your Phoenix Health Fund member card to take advantage of any dental benefits applicable to your policy too.