Regular dental appointments are crucial to your oral health. Preventative dental care includes teeth cleanings, oral examinations, and X-Rays. Brushing and flossing your teeth at home is also important, but alone it is not enough to ensure your mouth is healthy. If you want to keep your teeth in place for the rest of your life, it’s necessary to have routine professional dental care.
How often should you go to the dentist? Here’s the recommended schedule and the reasoning behind it.
You Should Go to the Dentist Every 6 Months or Twice a Year
Dentists recommend that routine preventative dental appointments should be scheduled every 6 months or twice a year. This is the recommendation for the average patient and is usually suitable for most people. However, for some patients with complex dental issues, the dentist may recommend that you come in more often for cleanings and exams.
Why Twice Yearly Appointments are Recommended
Why should you go to the dentist every 6 months? Where did this timing come from? There are a few different contributing factors to the recommendation.
- Tooth Health. Brushing and flossing your teeth removes food particles and plaque from the surface of your teeth, but no one brushes perfectly. It is easy to miss spots and some plaque will still form on your teeth between the times you brush. You could brush your teeth every time you eat or drink something, but even dentists don’t always recommend that, as too frequent brushing can lead to irritation, receding gums, and damage to your tooth enamel.
Going to the dentist for a more thorough professional cleaning every 6 months allows for the removal of plaque and tartar that build up on the teeth despite brushing. Dentists and dental hygienists use special tools to remove plaque and tartar that build up on the teeth. Those tools can also reach places your toothbrush can’t as well. Clean teeth are less likely to develop cavities.
- Gum Health. Gum disease is a common oral health issue for many patients. It develops as a result of a bacterial infection of the gums that is caused by plaque on the teeth and below the gum line. Early detection of gum disease makes it easier to treat before it worsens. Teeth cleanings every 6 months can help to prevent gum disease by removing the plaque that feeds the bacteria that cause the infection.
- Oral Cancer. Another very important reason you should go to the dentist every 6 months is for an oral cancer screening. A routine dental exam typically includes a thorough inspection of the soft tissues of the mouth for abnormalities as well as a neck and jaw examination to feel for possible growths or tumors. As with all types of cancer, early detection increases the survival rate of oral cancer immensely. Stopping the spread of cancer to the lymphatic system is a key factor in the prognosis.
- Insurance. One of the most practical reasons to go to the dentist every 6 months is that dental insurance typically covers these preventative appointments. Insurance providers began covering routine appointments at this frequency when they began to see that it would save them money by preventing the need for more expensive procedures. Not only does your insurance provider save money when you keep up with your routine appointments, but so will you.
Dental Partners of Vero Beach Want to See You Regularly
At Dental Partners of Vero Beach, we believe that most patients’ dental, oral and airway health thrives when we see you every 6 months. If you have complex dental issues we may even recommend that you come in more often for cleanings and exams. You only get one set of permanent teeth in your lifetime, and if you want to keep them, it is necessary to take care of them. We’re here to help you maintain your oral health with preventative dental care.
Call (772) 569-4118 or contact us today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to providing you with regular preventative dental care.