How Long is Too Long? How Often Should I See a Dentist and Why?

9 January, 2018 General Dentistry,

Some people would not dream of going an entire year without seeing a dentist. Others will not consider calling for an appointment unless they have pain that will not go away or sustain an injury to their teeth. You’ll find there are a number of opinions about how often to see a dentist and what constitutes a good reason to seek dental help. Here are some basics that you should keep in mind as you determine when and how often you should seek dental help.

The Basic Recommendation

Assuming that you have no pre-existing conditions, you will probably do well with two trips to the dentist each year. The first trip will be for your annual dental examination. The point of the examination is to evaluate the condition of your teeth, gums, and the bone structure of your jaw. If any issue is discovered, plans can be made to treat the condition and protect your oral health from declining. In some cases, it’s possible to administer the treatment at the time of the exam. At other times, it may be necessary to schedule another visit for the treatment.

The second annual trip to the dentist will be for a dental cleaning in Barrie. The cleaning removes any plaque and other buildup on and between your teeth. It also provides the dentist with the opportunity to take a second look at the gums and make sure they appear healthy. Removing the residue minimizes the potential for different forms of gum disease and can also aid in preventing the development of cavities.

Your Genes Play a Role

While two trips a year is enough for many people, others are not so fortunate. As with many types of bodily ailments, your genes can make a difference when it comes to gum and tooth health. If there is a family history of dental issues that cannot be traced back to habits like the use of tobacco or poor oral hygiene, you likely have a genetic disposition to certain types of tooth and gum conditions.

Knowing your family history will likely lead your dentist to recommend more visits that just an annual exam and teeth cleaning. Depending on what sort of issues have occurred in your family, the recommendation may be to plan on a quarterly or at least a semi-annual checkup. The purpose is to monitor the condition of your teeth and take quick action if any condition should develop. Quick detection and treatment will resolve the issue before a lot of damage can be done.

Monitoring Ongoing Conditions

When you do have a condition, more frequent monitoring is also a good idea. Even after the Barrie orthodontist successfully treats the issue, it pays to schedule followup visits to make sure everything is in order. This will continue for some time until the dental professional is convinced that you can return to less frequent checkups.

What About After Your Teeth are Gone?

There are people who think that once their real teeth are gone, going to the dentist only needs to happen every few years. That’s not the case. Patients who opt for implants still need to come in for annual checkups and cleanings. Doing so ensures the gums are still healthy. If you have dentures, it also allows the dentist to adjust them so they fit the current contours of your upper and lower jaws.

Start with the assumption you will need one annual exam and one annual cleaning. Talk with your dentist and determine if more frequent appointments are needed. Getting on the right schedule will result in better oral health and allow you to avoid quite a few problems.