In the early days of COVID, dental offices were closed, just like every other business. When the world began to open up a little, personal protective equipment became the norm, making it possible for teeth cleanings and dental care to continue safely. Unfortunately, many adults haven’t been to a dentist since COVID began – nearly three years ago – and the consequences could be serious.
Reasons Patients Haven’t Been to the Dentist
Everyone has their own reasons for avoiding the dentist and COVID compounded all those issues. Here are some of the most common reasons patients haven’t been to the dentist:
- You’re worried you’ll contract COVID. Going to the dentist is safe. Meticulous hygiene and sterilization continue as usual. Basic teeth cleanings and all types of dental care are carrying on normally. Extra masks and plastic face shields are no longer necessary – but extra precautions can certainly be taken for anyone who makes a special request. Remember, your dentist was always one of the cleanest and safest places to go – now it’s even more hygienic.
- Your dental anxiety is worse than ever. For patients who were already anxious about going to the dentist and who have avoided teeth cleanings, getting back into the dentist’s chair after COVID can be more difficult than usual. In cases like this, sedation dentistry may be needed, even for a teeth cleaning.
- You’ve been out of work. One of the first things to go in a person’s budget when their financial circumstances are tight is dental care. Job loss may also come with a loss of dental insurance. But self-care is critical to help avoid the development of oral health problems and the need for costly emergency dentistry. Most dental offices have a new patient special at a discounted rate as well as affordable financing plans that can get you the teeth cleaning you need while you figure out your circumstances.
Consequences of Avoiding the Dentist
It may seem like typical dental visits for a dental exam and teeth cleaning are quick and perfunctory, but many important things happen at each visit, which should take place every six months. Not only are teeth carefully cleaned, polished, and flossed, your mouth gets attention too. Your Manhattan Beach dentist will give you screenings for oral cancer and gum disease and look over digital x-rays to see if there are problems lurking under the gumline or within your teeth.
If you avoid the dentist and these basic steps of dental care, you could develop:
- Gum disease: This is a slow-moving disease, but several years of not being seen by your dentist can make it escalate quickly.
- Tooth decay: Cavities start small, but the longer they go unnoticed the more damage they can do.
- Infections: Root infections or tooth infections can lead to severe pain and discomfort and, if not treated right away, the need for tooth extraction.
Dental Procrastination After COVID
Dental care is more important than ever in the wake of COVID, which has caused so much stress and problems like teeth grinding, enamel erosion, and damaged teeth. You want your smile to look new again, be healthy, and be strong. Make it happen by prioritizing teeth cleanings and all dental care, starting now. Schedule an appointment with the team at Beachside Smiles in Manhattan Beach, CA.