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How Often Should You Go To The Dentist?

posted December 2, 2020
The general rule of thumb is to go to the dentist every six months for a regular checkup. This way with regular dental visits you can protect your teeth and gums and minimize the risk of cavities and gum disease and possible tooth decay. However, a dental visit twice a year may not be enough, so depending on your unique oral health and coinciding circumstances you may need to see your dentist more or less often than twice a year.

So, How Often Should You Visit The Dentist?

While it’s true that a twice per year cleaning schedule is a good rule of thumb for many people, scheduling dental visits should be based on each person’s oral hygiene, habits and medical conditions. That’s why it’s important to ask your dentist when you should schedule your next cleaning after every appointment.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I floss every day?
  • Do I brush twice a day with a fluoride-based toothpaste and follow my dentist’s instructions on how to brush properly?
  • Do I eat a well-balanced diet, including food from all food groups, and limit sweets and sticky foods?
  • Do I smoke?
  • Do I have a history of cavities or gum disease?
  • Is my overall health good?
The answers to these questions are all factors that affect your oral health. They will help you and your dentist decide how often you need to visit the dentist for dental exams. It’s worth noting that you should not determine your need for dental care on what your dental plan covers.

Who Should Go to the Dentist More Often?

Even if you take excellent care of your teeth and gums at home, you still need to visit a dentist regularly. Your dentist can check for problems that you might or might not see or feel. A lot of dental problems, like cavities or the early stages of gum disease, aren’t visible or painful until they are in more advanced stages. Sometimes, the issue might be preventable and more easily treated in the early stages. Your dentist will be able to see this and find a solution that will save you more pain in the long run.

Who Should Go to the Dentist More Often?

How often you need to have x-rays also depends on your oral health. A healthy adult who has not had cavities or other problems for a couple of years probably won’t require x-rays at every appointment. If your dental situation is less stable and your dentist is monitoring your progress, you may require more frequent x-rays.

If you are not sure why a particular x-ray is being taken, ask your dentist. Remember that dental x-rays deliver very little radiation; they are a vital tool for your dentist to ensure that small problems don’t develop into bigger problems.

What Can You Do to Keep Dentist Appointments to a Minimum?

The best thing you can do to keep your necessary dental visits to a minimum is to maintain good oral hygiene. So, make sure you are brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing once a day. If your dentist doesn’t find any cavities or gingivitis for a few years, he or she might choose to lengthen the time between visits.

If you haven’t heard how often you should see your dentist lately, twice a year is a great place to start. At your next appointment, ask your dentist how often they recommend you come in. Never assume you should cut back on your dental appointments yourself, and always follow your dentist’s advice. He or she will know the right timing that will help you put your best smile forward every day.

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