How often should you go to the dentist

Your sister said you should go twice a year, your co-worker goes once a year, while your friend recommends three times a year. So how often should you really go to the dentist? What everyone does agree on is that regular dental visits are crucial in keeping one’s teeth healthy. Cavities and gum diseases are preventable, and seeing your dentist routinely can help him or her catch the symptoms right away before they worsen into something more serious. A regular exam can prevent a host of oral problems from occurring in the first place, or detect them early on before they become costlier and more complicated to heal or to correct. Spotting a dental problem early will also help reduce the amount of pain and difficulty you’ll experience, if not keep them from happening altogether. So what are “regular” dental visits and how often do you need a dental check-up?

The truth is there is no one-size-fits-all preventive regimen. Every person has a unique smile with unique needs when it comes to keeping it healthy. Scheduling dental visits depends a lot on one’s diet, habits, oral hygiene, and medical condition. Taking into account your risk factors for tooth decay and gum disease, you need to see the dentist more often. People with a high risk of dental disease include pregnant women, smokers, diabetics, and those with continuing gum disease or are being treated for cancer, heart ailment or HIV. If you tend to build up plaque and get cavities at a faster rate, you also need to see your dentist more often. You should likewise visit more frequently if your gums bleed when you brush your teeth, or feel tender, swollen or red. Assuming that you belong to the high-risk group, you may have to visit every three or four months, or more.

If you have good teeth and healthy gums, do not build up a lot of plaque and tartar, and brushes and flosses religiously, you may have longer intervals between visits. Those who are committed to following a sound oral hygiene program will fare better and last longer before requiring new cleaning. Brushing and flossing your teeth properly (determined by the frequency and quality of doing so) can keep bacteria under control but inevitably, plaque will reappear after some time. Even if you practice great dental care at home, you still need to see a dentist regularly to arrest plaque and tartar buildup and lower your risk for tooth decay. Your dentist can also check for oral problems that you may not see or feel. If you follow a healthy dental routine, eat a balanced diet and limit sweets, and keep away from tobacco and alcohol, you can see your dentist once every six months.

A mistake would be to visit your dentist only when you are in dental pain. Dental professionals can prevent painful toothache, bleeding gums, and loose tooth cap from happening, as well as fix them. Visiting your dentist at regular intervals is better than needing painkillers, antibiotics, a root canal, and a new crown for a problem that could have been detected and treated much earlier on. At your dental health check, your dentist can assess how good your oral health is and suggest when you should have your next visit based on the condition of your mouth, teeth and gums. Your dentist will be the best person to put together the ideal check-up frequency for you based on your current dental health. If you have not seen a dentist for some time now, go to to schedule a dental appointment and get your mouth back on track.

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