You brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day and floss every evening before bed. You haven’t had a serious dental issue in years and your mouth is pain-free. So when that 3½-inch by 5-inch postcard reminding you that it’s time for your 6-month checkup with your favorite Delta Dental of Arizona dentist, you can’t help but wonder: Why visit the dentist twice a year? Or at all?
Just because you (think you) can get away with it, doesn’t mean you should forego twice-yearly dental checkups. Regular dental visits are essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Despite diligent dental hygiene habits, it takes most people an average of 6 months to produce significant tartar buildup. And only a dental hygienist can remove that much buildup, according to research. In addition, most dental problems aren’t painful until they become advanced. Twice yearly dental exams allow the dentist to identify potential risk areas early and avoid major dental problems.
Still not convinced? Skip the dentist and you risk missing out on these three things:
- A Tropical Vacation
Would you rather pay $225 to fill a cavity and have the extra funds to book a year-end tropical trip—or—drop $1,200 to book a year-end root canal? Neglecting to take care of small dental problems early inevitably results in bigger (and more expensive) dental issues Dropping cash is frustrating, but spending hundreds always trumps spending 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-$1,200—the same price of a round-trip ticket to the British Virgin Islands. (For those with dental insurance, you’ll pay less—about $650-$900—for that root canal, which is the same price as round-trip flight to St. Lucia.)1
- A Health Diagnosis
Sun and sand aren’t the only things you could miss out on. The health of your mouth directly relates to the health of your body. In fact, your dentist can spot evidence of more than 120 different diseases in or around your mouth, including anemia, GERD and diabetes.
- Your Teeth
Tooth loss in the United States is more serious than you may think. Adults lose an average of 7 permanent teeth and 12% of Arizona seniors over age 65 are missing all of their teeth. States where people skip the dentist also have the highest number of toothless seniors, according to a 2014 Washington Post article.
1Dental treatment estimates based on Arizona data gathered January 2016 from FAIR Health and/or the Delta Dental Cost Estimator tool. Flight estimates gathered January 2016 from Expedia with PHX as the originating airport for travel in February 2016.