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How Often Should You Go To The Dentist?

One hundred million Americans don't see their dentist every year, even though visiting the dentist regularly is essential in maintaining your oral health. With that being said, you have probably received a text, email, or phone call at some point in your life, reminding you that you are due for your 6-month visit with your dentist. You might be wondering, "how often should I really go to the dentist?"

The typical twice-a-year recommendation to visit the dentist originated from an advertisement for toothpaste, and there's little to no research that supports it. The twice-yearly rule isn't necessarily the best option for everyone. Read on to learn more about how often you should get dental checkups, why you might need to visit a dentist more often, why going to the dentist is essential, and what you can do to stay healthy and minimize your visits.

How Often Should You Visit the Dentist?

While it's true that visiting the dentist twice a year is a good rule of thumb for many people, the truth is that you have your own unique smile needs. So it depends on your oral hygiene, habits, and individual medical conditions.

Some people only need to visit the dentist once or twice are year, while others may need to go more often. So, always remember to ask your dentist when you should schedule your next appointment. And don't worry! They'll probably tell you when they want to see you next anyway.

Who Should Go to the Dentist More Often?

Some people need to visit the dentist more than twice a year. But who? People with a greater risk of dental disease and other health conditions may need to see the dentist every three months or more. This higher-risk group includes:

  • Pregnant women
  • Smokers
  • Diabetics
  • People with gum disease
  • People with a weak immune response
  • People who are prone to cavities or plaque build-up

Why is Going to the Dentist Important?

Even if you brush twice a day and floss daily, you still need to visit a dentist regularly! Your dentist and dental hygienist are trained to check for problems that you might not see or feel on your own. Some things, like cavities or gum disease, aren't even visible or painful until they're more advanced. When it comes to oral cancer, dentists and hygienists are often the first to find it for many patients.

Because the issue might either be preventable or more easily treated when caught early (like oral cancer), seeing a dentist regularly matters. With regular visits, your dentist will find solutions to any red flags that will save you time, discomfort, and even money in the long run.

What Can You Do to Keep Dentist Appointments to a Minimum?

The best thing you can do to keep your dental visits to a minimum is to maintain good oral hygiene. So, make sure to brush your teeth twice a day and clean between your teeth daily using floss, interdental brushes, or an oral irrigator. And guess what? If your dentist doesn't see any cavities or signs of gingivitis for several years, they might even lengthen the time between your visits.

Now you know that how often you need to visit the dentist depends on your unique smile situation. For some people, like smokers and diabetics, it may be more often. But no matter what, visiting the dentist is a preventative measure that improves your overall health and makes things easier for you in the long run. If you keep up with your daily hygiene, your dentist may even cut back on your required dental appointments. Remember to always follow your dentist's advice in terms of your next appointment. And if it's been a while, it's time to respond to that text, call, or email from your dentists' office for your 6-month dental check-in.

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This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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