This is one of the most common situations dentists see daily so you are definitely NOT alone! In my practice, I have patients who return 18 years later who have not seen a dentist in the meantime! I have also seen patients who have never been to a dentist until their spouse made an appointment for them in their 30s!
People avoid the dentist for many reasons. Dental fear, cost, previous bad experience, indifference and embarrassment are very common reasons. There are people who subscribe to the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" theory. Some are lucky enough to never ever have a cavity. However, there is no escaping gum disease. Regardless of how fastidious you are at oral hygiene, you will never be able to clean your teeth like a dental hygienist can. Gum problems are rarely painful until it is too late.
Whatever your personal reasons as to why you don't see a dentist for regular checkups, it is a good habit to start and today is as good a day as any! Your body, house and car all require periodic inspections to ensure proper function and so does your mouth. Waiting until something hurts will always cost more, be more unpleasant, be inconvenient, and usually result in some loss of function of your teeth. Preventive maintenance is always better and cheaper!
A good dentist and their staff will never be judgemental and will welcome you. They will do a full checkup and x-rays and discuss with you their findings and set a course to return you to proper dental health. As a wise man once said: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step", so let your journey to better dental health start today!
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