How often should you go to the Dentist?
The understood standard for years has been that patients see either dentist for preventative measures twice per year. This is largely dictated by the insurance industry which has not really caught up to modern dental practices and does not take the individual into consideration. Not everyone can successfully maintain their oral health with two visits per year. Patients with periodontal disease, taking certain medications that affect their oral health, those genetically predisposed to dental issues, and patients with poor home care can all greatly benefit from a more frequent recall schedule for preventative treatment.
The key to oral health is prevention! At your routine dental visits, your dental hygienist will clean your teeth using manual instruments and a cavitron to scrape and remove plaque and tartar buildup from below the gumline in between the teeth where your toothbrush and dental floss might miss! A cavitron is a tool that uses water and vibration to loosen plaque and tartar build up. They will also take x-rays routinely so that your dentist can see between your teeth and below the gumline to identify any decay or problem areas.
Do I need to see my dentist more than twice a year?
Your dentist and dental hygienist will evaluate your oral health and determine what recall schedule will help you maintain optimal oral health! There are a number of factors that they will consider when determining what your recall schedule should be. Patients who have a higher risk of periodontal disease are usually advised to have routine cleanings three or four times a year and stead of twice a year. genetics play a large role here as does home care so just because you are at risk of periodontal disease does not mean that you don’t brush your teeth!
There is also the matter of the patient’s health history and current medications. There are a number of medications on the market today that cause dry mouth which can lead to periodontal disease and other oral issues. Patients with dry mouth are more prone to plaque and tartar buildup so will likely need more frequent cleanings. The same goes for patients who suffer from diabetes, smoke, have a weakened immune system,and even patients who are pregnant. Pregnancy gingivitis is a temporary disease that typically goes away a few months after delivery.
Patients with excellent home care have a better chance of maintaining the healthy status of their mouth after a cleaning. It is important to floss at least once a day and use a soft bristled toothbrush at least twice per day. Prevention is less costly than treatment so maintaining a good oral hygiene routine and visiting your dentist regularly is crucial to the health of your mouth.
It is possible to develop tooth decay and not even realize it so when your dentist diagnoses an area of decay, it is important to have it repaired as soon as possible to keep the affected area small and less costly to fix!