You know it’s important to go to the dentist. But like many, you may be asking yourself how often should you go to the dentist to stay safe and healthy? For most, the answer is pretty simple – but it could change depending on your general health and health history!
Read on to learn the answer to “how often should you go to the dentist,” tips for who might need special care routines, and the actual benefits of these regular visits!
Regular Dental Visits for Most Patients
For anyone asking “how often should you go to the dentist?” the answer is typically the same: about once every six months. The concept of two checkups a year has been the standard for the general population when it comes to dental visits. This gives your dentist time to perform an examination and make recommendations to your oral health at regular intervals every year.
For those who take exceptional care of their teeth, you may be wondering if you can cut that down to once per year. There’s no real hard answer here. Realistically, you may be able to get by on a single visit each year if you have no history of dental issues like cavities. Of course, a year is a long time and many things can happen!
Of course, this is a general recommendation and it’s important to remember that every individual is unique. While once or twice a year may be good enough for some people, it simply won’t do if you have on-going dental concerns, are high-risk for cavities, or have another condition that may affect your general dental health.
Are There People Who Should Go to the Dentist More Often?
Absolutely! Like we said, everyone is unique. On top of that, there are conditions or situations that mean more diligent care is warranted. Some of the most common groups who should consider a higher volume of dental visits are:
It’s no secret that smoking is a health nightmare. And this applies to your oral health too. Regular smokers are prone to dental issues from cosmetic ones like staining to serious ones like oral cancer. Staying on top of regular dental visits for smokers can make a big difference in their long-term dental health, preventing serious issues like unidentified cancer or lost teeth.
During pregnancy, a lot happens to your body. One of the things that can happen, even those who otherwise have perfect dental care routines, is gingivitis. In fact, there is a specific term of “pregnancy gingivitis” to highlight the unique risk that pregnant women have for gum disease. This is due to several reasons, but primarily related to hormones and an increased vulnerability in your gums during pregnancy.
While early stages of gum disease aren’t a major concern, they can lead to major problems down the road. During pregnancy, regular dental checkups can reduce your risk for complications due to pregnancy gingivitis or help avoid it altogether.
People with a History of Cavities
Whether it’s because of poor oral care or something outside of your control, like chronic dry mouth, a person who experiences frequent cavities should visit the dentist more frequently. The reasoning is simple: the more frequently you go, the less likely you are to have severe cavities.
Diabetes is a condition that affects your whole body – your mouth included. Diabetics are more prone to cavities and gum disease due to issues like their blood pressure and even the glucose in their saliva. Because of this increased risk, increased visits are recommended to help make sure they’re maintaining good oral health.
Why You Should Go to the Dentist Regularly
When you wonder how often should you go to the dentist you may also wonder what the actual benefit of these regular visits are. Of course, a dentist will tell you how valuable regular checkups are – but if you don’t understand these benefits, you may be less inclined to stay on top of your checkup schedule.
Here are some of the biggest benefits of your regular dental checkups:
Catching Cavities Early – A cavity starts small and grows in size over time. While you may be able to reverse the damage from a very early cavity, usually by this time, intervention is required. But a tiny cavity is a lot easier for your dentist to fix than a large one – and if it goes all the way to your root, you could be in for more serious procedures.
Detect Severe Oral Care Problems – Dentists do more than just keep your mouth clean, they perform thorough examinations of your mouth to identify potential health conditions you won’t catch on your own. Things like gum disease, oral cancer or diseases that could impact your quality of life are just some of the things a dentist could catch early and help reverse before symptoms even begin!
Remove Plaque – If your oral care routine missed a few spots over the last few months, you likely have buildup in your mouth that brushing simply won’t fix anymore. A hygiene visit is a core part of regular checkups, and includes services that will remove this plaque to protect you from the on-going damage that unchecked plaque can cause.
Do You Have Dental Health Questions? Schedule an Appointment!
If you have dental health concerns or are just looking for information, the professionals at Walbridge Dental provide complete family dental care to families in the Millbury community. Contact us online to set up an appointment now or call us at 419-836-1033.
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