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How Often Should I Go to the Dentist?

The frequency of visiting your dentist will depend on your habits, oral health, and hygiene. However, most dental health care providers suggest you do a check-up at least twice a year.

Depending on a dentist’s examination of your medical conditions, habits, and oral hygiene, the dentist will recommend an appropriate routine for you. The frequency could be as short as three months or go up to two years.

If your oral hygiene is good and you do not have underlying medical conditions, the period could be as long as one or two years. However, if you may have dental issues, the dentists may recommend regular check-ups.

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Who Requires Regular Visits to a Dentist?

For most people, visiting a dentist twice a year works well. However, if you have an underlying health condition or a risk factor, you may have to visit a dentist regularly. Some of the habits and health issues that call for frequent visits include:

Diabetes

If you have diabetes, harmful bacteria may develop in the saliva due to high glucose levels when you do not manage it well. Food may combine with the bacteria to form plaque and stick in your gum. The deposition makes it painful to brush your teeth, and you are at a high risk of fungal infections, gum diseases, and other severe oral conditions.

a woman at the dental exam

Cigarette Smokers

The use of tobacco can lead to gum diseases like periodontitis. If you undergo oral surgery or any other dental procedure, periodontitis can make it difficult for your body to heal.

Also, smokers are at a higher risk of oral fungal infections, throat cancer, and diseases. Smoking also causes bad breath and discolored teeth.

Heart Diseases

If you have poor oral hygiene, you are at more risk of cardiovascular problems than someone with healthy oral health. Your general dental health determines your heart health. Your oral cavity has millions of blood vessels. Bacteria may combine with blood and make their way to the heart. Regular dental cleaning by a dentist may help to alleviate the risks of stroke and heart attack.

medical staff at the dentist's office

People Living with HIV

People living with HIV need to visit the dentist regularly because their immunity is compromised. Bacteria may quickly attack their dental health. Also, HIV treatment creates a higher risk of dental infections and decay.

Pregnant Women

Pregnancy triggers hormonal changes. The change may lead to gingivitis, a situation whereby the gums become inflamed. Regular cleaning of the dental or brushing treats gingivitis.

pregnant woman sitting next to her partner

People Who Have Existing Gum Disease

If you already have a pre-existing mouth condition like candidiasis, you need to visit a dentist regularly.

Cancer Patients

If you have cancer, it might help to visit a dentist more regularly. Cancer treatment can trigger oral health issues like dry mouth or oral infections.

When Should I Go to the Dentist?

Regardless of how diligent you are with oral hygiene and care, it would be best if you saw a dentist at some interval. Dentists are capable of identifying oral health issues you may be unaware of before they become complicated. 

Some dental problems like gum diseases and cavities may not be noticeable to someone without dental health training. Even worse is cancer which can be mistaken for a normal discomfort in its early stages. Visiting your dentist will help diagnose dental problems early enough when they are cheap and easy to manage.

a smiling dentist in white uniform

So, other than the scheduled dental visits, it is essential to see your dentist in the following circumstances immediately.

  • When you experience a toothache or discomfort in your tooth
  • When you have constant headaches and jaw pains
  • When you have a missing tooth
  • When you find yourself gasping and snoring during sleep
  • When you experience sudden tooth sensitivity to either hot or cold food substances
  • When you have swollen or bleeding gums
  • When you have a chipped or broken tooth
  • When you experience a bad mouth smell
  • When you have teeth-grinding

If you experience any of the above situations, you need to book an appointment with a dentist immediately.

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Why Is it Important to Visit a Dentist?

Your dental health matters a lot to your general well-being. Poor oral health may lead to further body complications such as heart disease. Also, when bacteria in your mouth are not checked, it can lead to fungal infections down the digestive system.

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Why should you wait until matters become complicated?

A visit to your dentist, even when you feel okay, could help avoid many health risks. When dental issues are detected early enough, a dentist has the easiest option to fix them. Early diagnoses will save you pain, money, inconveniences, and discomfort.

Dentists not only have the expertise and the equipment to detect issues that you likely cannot do.

Some of the reasons why you need to visit a dentist regularly are:

Frequent Exams

Regular examinations are essential for several reasons. A dentist will check your teeth to ensure they are healthy. They will also clean them and maybe identify issues you may not have noticed.

Prevent Problems

You need to visit a dentist to prevent possible problems. A dentist will advise you on ways to maintain dental hygiene. When you stick to the advice, you will avoid any issues that could have arisen.

Dental Cleaning

Dental cleaning is a vital aspect of dental health. It gives you a brighter smile and prevents dental problems. During cleaning, the dentist will remove plaque.  Plaque is a build-up of glucose and a mixture of food that sticks on your mouth and could cause a fungal infection. The bacteria can lead to periodontitis, which is painful and uncomfortable. It can also lead to tooth decay if you do not remove it. A plague requires a professional to rid it from your teeth.

the chair in the dentist's office

Diagnoses

If you feel any sudden sensitivity or pain, you need to see a dentist rather than wait for the issue to ease up. What might seem or start as little pain or discomfort could be a matter of deep concern. A dentist is more knowledgeable in understanding your dental health issues.

Health Issues

Regular check-ups are helpful to guide you when you have a diagnosis with a particular ailment or condition likediabetes or hemophilia. A dentist will advise you on the best way to handle your dental health versus the condition or diseases. A dentist will also provide the proper treatment when needed in such circumstances.

Preventative Measures for Children

Children need to be taken to a dentist regularly from the time their initial teeth start appearing. Regular check-ups ensure the child has proper dental health from their tender age to adulthood. They also learn oral hygiene and get accustomed to it, thus preventing common dental issues that crop up with time. 

a boy at the dental examine

Must I Visit a Dentist for Regular Check-ups?

Visiting a dentist for dental check-ups is essential for your health. However, you will be required to visit more regularly if you have oral conditions like gum diseases and cavities.

To avoid having frequent visits, you can adopt good health hygiene. Healthy dental hygiene involves brushing your teeth at least twice a day. When you brush, ensure you thoroughly clean the area between your teeth with an oral irrigator,interdental brush, and floss.

Adopt healthy eating habits by avoiding very hot or cold meals and beverages.

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Final Thoughts

While frequent check-ups to the dentist are a crucial component of your oral hygiene routine, proper dental health involves several actions other than the check-ups.Dr. Brite has a variety of products to keep frequent check-ups at bay. Book an appointment with your dentist. After examining you, they will advise you on the proper intervals that you should do check-ups.

FAQs

1. Do you really need to go to the dentist every 6 months?

You should see your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning. Skipping dental appointments can lead to preventable oral health complications. Does it really make sense to visit the dentist every six to twelve months? The answer is yes.

2. How often should you actually go to the dentist?

As a general rule, you should see your dentist every six months. According to research, people who do not have dental difficulties can visit the dentist once a year, while those who do have problems should visit the dentist every three or four months.

3. Is it bad to not go to the dentist every year?

Not only are patients who fail to take adequate care of their mouths at risk of developing tooth and gum disease, but they can also suffer from various diseases and disorders throughout their bodies. Poor dental hygiene increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and breast cancer.

4. Is it OK to scrape tartar off your teeth?

Tartar should not be removed at home. In addition to causing problems such as tartar formation, it is harmful. You should schedule an appointment with your dentist if you would like your teeth scraped or scaled.

5. What happens if you don't get your teeth cleaned every 6 months?

The gums may be irritated, resulting in bleeding, pain, bad breath, and even gum disease if tartar is not adequately removed (particularly below the gumline) (pocketing of gums around the teeth and loss of bone support for the teeth)