When you visit our Long Branch dentist office, the one thing that you will be sure to hear about is the importance of having regularly scheduled appointments right here at the dentist office. Over the last several years, we have observed an alarming trend, nationally, with fewer people coming in to see their dentist on a regular basis. We want to make sure that you do not fall into that same trap. The importance of regularly scheduled visits for cleaning and maintenance cannot be overstated. Many of our patients and families have realized the importance of having a scheduled cleaning and examination, which has led to them also enjoying overall better oral health. When you make it a habit to visit us once every six months, we can do two things that directly benefit your mouth and help to keep you in better oral health. The first thing we can do is examine your mouth for any budding problems. If we do find any, we can treat them right here at our Long Branch dentist office before they become severe or challenging. Second, we can clean your teeth to remove any excess plaque that may have built up. This works to reduce your potential exposure to decay. Plaque is one of the leading causes of decay, so keeping the levels down helps to reduce cavities.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 1 in 4 Americans suffer from untreated cavities or decay. The exact number was 27.5 percent, but we know that among some age demographics it is much higher than this. In children ages 12 to 15, for example, the cavity occurrence or decay ratio is actually 50 percent or 1 in 2. It is this kind of problem that we want our patient to avoid. One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to do this is to come in once every six months and allow us to work on keeping your teeth healthy. Unfortunately, as we mentioned earlier, there has been an alarming trend of fewer people coming in to see their dentist than before. While we have not seen this at our Long Branch dentist office and there are many factors at play here, a recent study showed that between 2002 and 2012, the percentage of people who visited the dentist, at least once a year, dropped from 44.5 percent to around 42 percent. Already in the 40th percentile, we need to work harder so that people understand the importance of regular dentist visits as it relates directly to their oral health.
One of the most important things that we will do for you when you visit, on your next bi-annual examination, is to screen you for oral cancer. Oral cancer has become more common in patients and so we are recommending a regular screening. As your Long Branch dentist, we are in a unique position to find oral cancer in its earliest stages by noticing the lesions in the mouth or throat as soon as they appear, during a regularly scheduled examination. Finding cancer early is one of the best ways to prevent it from spreading and to aggressively treat it for a full recovery.