How Often Should You Visit a Dentist?

Woman having her teeth cleaned by the dentist

Contrary to popular belief, the “visit the dentist every six months” rule is not for everybody. In fact, the gaps between your dental checkups may vary from three months to two years. Why is that so? In this guide, we’re going to find out how often you should visit the dentist and why.

The Frequency varies among individuals

If you have gingivitis, you wouldn’t want to wait six months for every dental visit. Moreover, you wouldn’t want to be lost looking for a trusted dentist on Ross River Road or any other location.

Many factors affect how often a person needs to go to the dentist, such as age, lifestyle, current dental health, and nutrition habits, to name a few. If you are a smoker, get less than eight hours of sleep a night, eat an unhealthy diet, and don’t take care of your teeth often, you may need more frequent visits to the dentist due to an increased risk of developing dental disease.

When to go to the dentist

The general rule of thumb is to visit the dentist at least two times a year for a general checkup. Biannual visits can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental problems. An exception to the rule is people with an existing dental condition and those with potential risk. These people may need to visit the dentist more frequently (every three months, for example).

If you can’t figure out how often you should go to the dentist’s office, don’t worry. With every visit, your dentist will check on the following:

  • Teeth, gums, and mouth
  • General health
  • Lifestyle and teeth-cleaning habits

After every checkup, your dentist will advise you on the date of your next visit. If they see that you’re at low risk for developing dental problems, your next visit date may be as long as after two years (or up to a year if you’re a minor).

Teeth cleaning and other dental treatments

Dentist checking male patient's teeth

The biannual visit rule only applies to general checkups, in many cases. Dental treatments and teeth cleaning is another story. Similar to general checkups, dentists recommend that you get your teeth professionally cleaned at least twice a year if they deem your teeth and mouth are healthy enough for the minimum amount of visits.

Why do you need teeth cleaning twice every year? Well, plaque returns to your teeth inevitably no matter how well you brush them. In fact, the bacteria that causes plaque will begin to multiply in your mouth within 24 to 48 hours after teeth cleaning. In a matter of months, the plaque will most likely have calcified into your teeth. Only a dentist or dental hygienist can remove it with their tools and skills, and with twice a year visits, the heavy buildup of plaque and tartar will be avoided.

On the other hand, special dental treatments such as root canals and extractions will depend on your dentist’s advice. If you are experiencing problems with your teeth, such as toothache that lasts for two or more days, before your scheduled checkup, make an earlier appointment to prevent the development of diseases.

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