Many people wonder how often they should go to the dentist. This depends greatly on each individual patient. Some people take better care of their teeth than others and thus require fewer trips to the dentist, while others are a bit more careless when it comes to caring for their teeth. There are a variety of things that contribute to damaging our teeth, such as smoking, excessive drinking, eating certain foods and poor dental hygiene in general.
Some years ago there were no real guidelines set in place as to how frequently someone should visit the dentist. That’s because back then, more dentist concentrated on addressing people’s dental needs as opposed to implementing preventive care. As a result, many health and dental organizations came together after determining that there was a need to have standards put in place for preventive care. Their recommendation was that visiting the dentist two times a year would be sufficient for regular checkups and cleaning. This time frame was determined because some dental problems such as gum disease and cavities can be prevented with regular checkups.
This recommendation has proven to be true, more particularly for those who have good oral hygiene habits and are generally in good health.
Since some dental problems are not very evident, even for those who practice good personal hygiene, they may find that they need to increase their office visits so that certain issues can be identified and addressed. Mainly issues that can only be detected by the dentist. This can actually be pretty tricky because some problems are not painful or visible until they have reached their advanced stages. This includes areas such as gum disease, cavities or oral cancer. An advantage of making regular trips to the dentist is that they will be able to identify these problems during their early stages – while it can still be managed and treated.
Additionally, those who are at a low risk of getting gum disease or cavities are the ones who can get away with visiting the dentist once or twice a year. Typically while still remaining in good dental health. On the other hand, those with a high risk of gum disease or cavities may need to visit the dentist every 2 to 3 months or even more frequently for the more high-risk groups. The high-risk groups consist of people who smoke, people with diabetes, people that have a presence of gum disease, people that have a weak immune system and tend to become more susceptible to bacterial infections, people with plaque buildup and pregnant women are often considered high risk for gum disease and cavities. They should take more frequent visits to the dentist than the people who are not considered high risk.
Surprisingly, there may be things that are going on in your life that causes changes to take place in your mouth. This includes things such as excessive stress, various forms of illnesses or changes in eating habits, such as an increase in sugary foods. This could create a change in the need to visit your dentist.
Consequently, the frequency in which you need to visit the dentist may change throughout the course of your life. Your dentist will likely assist you with determining how frequently you need to make regular visits based on the general condition of your teeth and gums and your overall oral hygiene habits.