Surely you have 60 seconds to spare, especially if it meant you would be saved from serious and costly dental problems, right? Although regular dental checkups every six months with your dentist are essential to your smile health, you don’t need to ignore your mouth entirely in between appointments. Taking just 60 seconds to do a quick oral health evaluation can help you stay on top of your dental health before a problem become costly or causes irreversible damage.
Open wide and spend an extra minute looking in the mirror today. Follow these easy mouth check steps for invaluable clues to your dental health:
- Check your gum line and the lines between your teeth.
- You will need to look for the presence of brown lines here. If you see any, this is a sign that there is tartar build-up.
- Stick out your tongue.
- Note the surface of your tongue. A healthy tongue is pink. Other colors, sores or patches can indicate other health problems. For example, a white-coated tongue can be an indication of poor digestion.
- Look at your cheeks.
- If the inside of your cheeks have white patches or wounds, you need to make sure they heal properly. An ulcer that does not heal within three weeks should be evaluated, as it could be a precancerous lesion.
- Evaluate your gum appearance.
- No need to worry if your gums are pink and not swollen. However, if your gums are red and bulging, you may have gingivitis, which is the first sign of gum disease. In addition, pale gums can be a symptom of iron deficiency or anemia.
If you do notice a cause for concern in your mouth, always consult your dentist. While some dental issues can be handled at-home, there may times when you need to make an appointment with your dentist sooner than your six-month visit.
The American Dental Association estimates that more than 164 million work hours are lost every year due to oral health problems and dental visits. When you look at it that way, 60 seconds doesn’t seem all that inconvenient to ensure you are not losing valuable time in the future.