How Often Should You Really Be Visiting Your Dentist?
Regular Dental Check-Ups
Many people wonder how often they should visit the dentist. And while there are several different answers out there answering this question, the truth is that the answer is not exactly a straight forward one.
Some dentists recommend that you visit for a check-up and clean every six months, while other clinics may schedule annual appointments. If you have an ongoing oral health problem, your dentist might suggest more frequent visits.
While there are all sorts of different answers to this question, most dentists recommend once every six months to be the best option. This is because many dentists report this to be the safest amount of time to detect possible oral health problems at an earlier stage, when treatments or preventive care may be more effective.
Why regular dental check-ups are so important
Regardless of how often your dentist requests you make an appointment, these regular check-ups are a vital part of your oral health. They allow your dentist to scan your mouth for any possible signs of oral health problems such as tooth decay, gum disease and oral cancer.
In the event that your dentist does spot any issues, he/she will discuss treatment options with you, including cost estimates.
During your regular dental check-up, you may also undergo a professional cleaning. This is a preventative measure to help reduce your chances of developing cavities and tooth decay. During this cleaning, your teeth may be polished and scaled with hardened plaque, also known as tartar is removed. Your dentist will also offer any advice they think may be needed to help improve your oral hygiene at home.
What to expect
During your regular dental check-up, you can expect a few common steps to take place.
A thorough examination: your dentist will have a thorough examination pf your mouth. This includes your teeth, gums, cheeks, tongue and jaw. You will be notified if your dentist spots anything out of the ordinary. Your dentist will use a special tool when checking your gums. This will measure the depth of the spaces between your teeth and gums. With healthy gums, the spaces are shallow. When people have gum disease, the spaces may become deeper.
X-rays: This does not occur during all routine check-ups, however, in some cases, your dentist may feel that it is necessary. X-rays are often a great way for your dentist to check for signs of tooth decay in between your teeth. If your dentist has already spotted some signs of decay, the X-rays will be able to provide a better idea of the extent of it.
Should your dentist notice any signs of gum disease or decay during this visit, he/she will notify you of the extent. Your dentist will also use this time to discuss and suggest the right steps that should be taken to address any of these issues. You should also use this time to discuss the details regarding the procedures suggested with your dentist. I.e. what you can expect and the costs involved etc. This will help both you and your dentist identify the best way forward.
Making time to visit the dentist can seem a little inconvenient, but taking care of your oral health is so important as your oral health is the gateway to your overall health. That 30-minute trip to the dentist is an important part of staying healthy and ensuring that your teeth and gums are in tip-top shape. What may seem like a small inconvenience is a big step toward health.
If you have any questions about regular dental check-ups or would like to book an appointment, contact us today.