It’s highly recommended that you visit the dentist regularly to keep your oral health in check. However, how often should you visit the dentist? Whilst the standard recommendation is at least twice a year, this answer isn’t set in stone.
There is more to this answer than meets the eye. Oher dentist may request you to visit the dentist for dental appointments more than twice a year. Whilst the recommendations aren’t written in the law, every patient has different needs, and hence, treatment (including the number of recommended visits) would be individual to each patient.
So, let’s break down how often you should take dental appointments to help you understand where these decisions come about.
Why Are Dental Appointments Important?
Regular visits to the dentist are important no matter the frequency. Below breaks down four reasons why dental appointments are important.
Prevents Tooth Cavities
Bacteria will begin to penetrate inside your mouth if you do not brush and floss your teeth regularly or keep your mouth clean. Dental plaque contains bacteria, a yellow and light sticky film that coats your smile. This can harden into tartar, and when it does, it becomes more difficult to remove at home with a toothbrush. The dentist would have to scrape it off. Tooth deterioration begins with the formation of dental plaque.
Detecting Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is a potentially fatal disease that can spread to your bloodstream. Oral cancer cannot be identified unless the symptoms are recognised early enough to prevent it from progressing to a life-threatening stage. One of the first jobs of the dentist during a dental check-up is to look for indicators of oral cancer. The dentist looks for evidence of dead tissue in the mouth, which is difficult to find at home.
Understanding The Bad Habits That Harm Your Teeth
Without realising it, many unhealthy habits can hurt teeth. What about ripping open a package or chewing into something tough? Do you have a habit of biting your nails or grinding your teeth at night? These are unintentional poor habits that cause teeth to deteriorate. The dentist will always examine any oral damage caused by these habits and recommend how to prevent them and replace them with positive habits that will help you take better care of your teeth.
Prevent Gum Disease
Tooth decay isn’t the only problem that plaque and tartar can cause. It can also develop into periodontal disease if the decay causes infection and spreads to the gum-attached tissue. This weakens your teeth and increases the risk of them falling out. The dentist will do a thorough cleaning to remove any plaque accumulated on the teeth.
When Is The Most Suitable Time For A Dental Appointment?
The dentist will determine a timeline of when dental appointments should be scheduled. This would be dependent on the state of your oral health. If the dentist is happy that you’re maintaining strong oral hygiene and there are no immediate concerns, the dentist would typically schedule a new appointment six months later. If issues are identified, the dentist would recommend frequent appointments as a follow-up. The recommendations can change over time depending on how well you look after your teeth.
What About Dental Appointments For Children?
Dental appointments for children are considered the same for adults. However, again, it depends on individual oral health needs. If your child’s tooth development isn’t as strong as you’d expect, the dentist may request your child to visit the dentist often. This also introduces greater confidence and comfort for children to visiting the dentist.
When Should I Be Worried About Not Visiting The Dentist?
If your teeth are showing signs of wear and tear or experiencing a toothache, it’s always recommended that you visit the dentist as soon as possible. These are signs that your oral health isn’t as strong as it should be, and the dentist would need to pull out all the stops to restore strong oral health.
If you’ve not visited the dentist during the last few years, get yourself checked in today for a dental appointment.