Many people may believe that they do not have time for routine dental care, which consists of daily brushing and flossing as well as periodic cleaning by a dentist. Admittedly, these tasks do take some time but should be a priority even in a busy schedule. People who do not take time for brushing, flossing,…
What To Do if You Have Been Negligent on Routine Dental Care
Prioritizing routine dental care is necessary for good health. Unfortunately, some people can find it difficult to care properly for their teeth by brushing, flossing, and seeing a dentist on a regular basis. Patients who disregard dental hygiene and professional care need immediate action to prevent dangerous outcomes.
The risks of dental negligence
In addition to an unsightly smile, failing to maintain routine dental care can lead to serious complications. These issues can be painful and harmful to a patient's health.
Tooth decay and gum disease
Brushing and flossing every day and sticking to a six-month schedule for cleanings can help prevent cavities and gum problems. However, failing to keep up good oral hygiene habits and allowing too much time to lapse between office visits can lead to a buildup of plaque and bacteria, resulting in numerous issues. Patients can experience pain, inflammation, bleeding, discoloration, and sensitivity as decay and disease set it.
Infection or serious illness
Untreated cavities are more than just a nuisance. Over time, the decay can lead to an infection, which can be dangerous if left untreated. Those with poor oral health are also more at risk for serious diseases, including:
- Heart disease
- Some cancers
- Bacterial pneumonia
Proper dental care is essential not just for oral health but for overall physical health as well.
When serious decay and infection progress, it can often lead to permanent tooth loss. While there are treatment options to help restore a patient's smile after tooth loss, prevention can help eliminate the need for extensive dental work.
Steps to get back on track with routine dental care
Even after years of neglect, it is still possible to regain oral health. Patients can follow these steps to start better dental care habits.
Schedule an appointment with a dentist
If it has been more than six months since the last checkup, patients should schedule an appointment right away. Those who have neglected home care and are experiencing pain, swelling, or other concerning symptoms should also call a dentist, even if six months has not passed since their last visit.
Invest in helpful dental care tools
If proper home cleaning is a struggle, investing in some new tools can make the process easier with improved results. An electric toothbrush is often more efficient at removing plaque and buildup, especially along the gum line. Water flossers can make it easy to remove bacteria and food particles between teeth. Patients should talk with a dentist about which options can help make daily brushing and flossing more successful.
Find ways to cope with dental anxiety
If fear or anxiety has kept a person from visiting the dentist, there are ways to cope with these feelings. Practicing relaxation exercises, listening to music or podcasts during treatment, or talking with a professional can help reduce anxiety symptoms. With a plan in place, patients can be more successful at scheduling and keeping dental appointments.
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Neglecting routine dental care can have a negative impact on oral and physical health. Fortunately, there are still paths to good habits, even late in life, for a stronger, healthier smile.
When patients go for routine dental care, they may or may not have X-rays taken of their mouths. Dentists use these important diagnostic tools to check all layers of the tooth. While a key part of routine care, X-ray imaging may not be taken every visit. Every patient is different, and the recommended frequency for…
Incorporating good habits into routine dental care on a daily basis can help teeth and gums stay as healthy as possible. Regular dental hygiene is associated with reduced plaque, fewer cavities, and less incidence of gum disease over a person's lifetime. Patients do not need to completely overhaul their oral health routines. Instead, implementing a…