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We’ve all heard the excuses – for many of us, we have been the ones making up the excuses! I do not have the time this weekend, it’s too far to travel today, I went last year so why do I need to go again now, nothing hurts so there’s nothing wrong, and my favorite: I would know if there was something wrong. The trouble is with teeth that often us amateurs do not know if there is something wrong, which is exactly why going to visit your dentist is so important. The trouble is that we all live incredibly busy lifestyles now, with far more demands on our time than any other generation that has gone before us, and it can often be several months, if not years, before we realize just how long it has been before we have visited the dentist.

So what’s the solution? Well, we spoke to eminent and respected local dentist Dr Paige Woods, who has her dental practice in San Diego (see brightondentalsd.com), and asked her how she was able to encourage her patients to return again and again to her dental chair for check ups. She explained that in most cases it was all about education – and in a way, frightening people to realize just what they were gambling by not coming to see her once a year. For example, did you know that it is completely possible to have dental cavities in your teeth that are both completely naked to the human eye, and completely painless? Gum disease is another great example of this, and it is a disease that apparently 1 in 2 of us have at some point or another. Although advanced gum disease does present with some symptoms, such as sore gums and slightly bleeding gums, for the first few stages you would have absolutely no idea that you had it if you did not go to a dentist – and gum disease can quickly spread in your body and become heart disease.

We assume that it is not possible to have a dental problem without any pain, but apparently according to Dr Paige Woods it actually happens a lot, and that is one of the reasons why she always wants to see her patients every twelve months – so if there is something going wrong, it cannot continue for that long without her doing something about it. By educating people about the different risks that they face by not seeing a dentist or other dental professional regularly, you could be allowing real damage to be happening to your teeth right now, and you would have absolutely no idea that it was happening.

Dr Paige Woods advises her patients that they make their next appointment to see her as they leave their last consultation, so that there is absolutely no chance of them getting home without one! This is a brilliant tactic to ensure that there will never be too long a gap between each visit, and there is no way of getting out of it!

Related: wisdomtoothpain.org

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