Every six months the “Time for Your Checkup!” postcard inevitably hits your mailbox. But why visit the dentist twice a year? Or at all?
The bi-annual dental visit recommendation was designed with the “average person” in mind. All it takes is six months to produce significant tartar buildup. Since its conception in the 18th century, dental professionals still favor this guideline. And only a dental professional can remove that much buildup, according to research.
Just because you (think you) can get away with it, doesn’t mean you should forego bi-yearly checkups. Like hair in your shower drain, the longer you put off a cleaning, the bigger the hairball—or in this case, potential dental issue. Still not convinced? Skip the dentist and you risk missing out on these three things:
1. A Tropical Vacation
Would you rather pay $100 to fill a cavity and book a year-end tropical trip—or—drop $1,000 to book a year-end root canal? Waiting to take care of small problems creates bigger (and more expensive) issues down the road. Dropping cash is frustrating, but spending hundreds always trumps thousands. And think of what you can do with your leftover cash! Grab your swimsuit, because the average cost of a root canal is $900—the same price of a round trip ticket to Fiji.
2. A Healthy Diagnosis
Sun and sand aren’t the only things you risk missing. Your mouth is a window to the bigger picture—your body. Fortunately, your dentist has binoculars. He or she can spot symptoms of dental disease, as well as signs of more serious health conditions.
3. Your Teeth
Tooth loss in the United States is more serious than you may think. Adults lose an average of seven permanent teeth, and 10% of adults over 50 have ZERO teeth left. States where people skip the dentist also have the highest number of toothless seniors, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. You don’t just wake up one day and have to have all of your teeth pulled. Just like the tortoise, dental disease is slow but steady—and eventually, you will lose the decay race if you neglect regular dental care.
Now that we’ve talked you into regular dental checkups, remember to practice at-home brushing and flossing. Don’t skip the dentist and you won’t miss out on a healthy smile—or any other perks!