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How Often Should You Visit Your Dentist?

Over 100 million Americans do not visit their dentist consistently every year, and this has significant repercussions on the oral health of the population. Indeed, regular visits to the dentist are required to maintain good oral health. That being said, you are probably asking yourself the following question: How often do I have to visit my dentist? The answer to this question varies, contrary to most expectations. In this article, you will find the answer to the above question and an explanation of its reasoning.

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The typical twice-a-year recommendation:

Truth or Myth?

You’ve probably heard the recommendation that you should visit your dentist twice a year. However, as funny as it may sound, this recommendation originated from an advertisement for toothpaste and not from actual dental studies! This recommendation is a good rule of thumb for many people, but should not be applied to everyone – depending on their oral health needs, some people may need to visit their dentist more or less often.

So, why do some people need to see their dentist less often and why should others visit more frequently?

The only person who can give you a valid and precise answer to this question is … your dentist of course! As mentioned above, some people need to see their dentist more than twice a year, especially those with a greater risk of dental disease and other health conditions that require visits to their dentist every 3 months, or more. Patients with good oral health overall will probably need to visit only once every 12 to 24 months.

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Who should go to the dentist more often?

Pregnant women

With hormonal changes during pregnancy, gums can become red, tender, and sore. In that case, your dentist might recommend additional cleanings during your second trimester and early third trimester to help control gingivitis – hence the importance of seeing your dentist more often when pregnant.

Diabetics

Since people with diabetes are more prone to gum disease, and since literature suggests that treating gum disease can help improve blood sugar control, having professional deep cleanings more often than twice a year is recommended for diabetic people.

  • Smokers are more prone to periodontal diseases and more likely to have stained teeth, and therefore may need appointments more often.
  • People with gum disease.
  • People with a weak immune response.
  • People who are prone to cavities or plaque build-up

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Why are regular check-ups important?

They allow early detections of dental and oral issues, allowing better health management:

  • Even if you brush your teeth twice a day and floss as recommended, you still need to visit your dentist. Patients are unable to detect things like cavities or gum disease before they get too advanced and painful. Regular visits make it possible for early detection of oral health problems, so patients can avoid them or halt their progress. An additional and major benefit is the fact that oral cancers are most often detected by dentists since they examine not only your teeth, but also your gums and mouth. These oral cancer screenings can therefore help detect cancerous lesions that can be more effectively treated when caught early.
  • Ultimately, visiting your dentist as regularly as recommended will save you time, discomfort, and even money in the long run.
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In conclusion, the better you take care of your teeth, the less chance you will have of developing cavities and oral health problems. In turn, you will need to visit your dentist less often. Brush your teeth twice a day as recommended, and do not hesitate to use dental floss, interdental brushes, or an oral irrigator. Your dentist might then lengthen the time between your visits! Always follow your dentist’s advice in terms of your next appointment for optimal oral health.

Suzanna Maria Sayegh graduated in Oral Pathology, earned a Master’s in Research and a Doctorate in Dental Surgery at the Saint-Joseph University of Beirut. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Aesthetic and Prosthetic Dentistry. It is her top priority to provide high-quality, minimally invasive dental care to each patient, respecting their individual goals and needs. She is currently writing for Bond Street Dental.

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