How Often Should I Go To The Dentist?
During military entrance exams 50+ years ago, doctors found that Americans' teeth were not in good shape. Very few people took proper care of their teeth. In addition, there were no recommendations for how frequently people should see a dentist eden prairie. During this time, dentists focused on resolving issues and not prevention.
Following the realization, dentists and health care providers suggested there was need to establish standards for preventive dentistry. Because they didn’t have any guidelines or evidence to follow, they made an educated recommendation. It was decided that people should visit the dentist twice a year for regular checkups and cleaning. These visits would help prevent cavities and gum disease.
The twice a year recommendation has been a useful guideline for many people. Ultimately, dental visits should be scheduled based on an individual’s oral hygiene, daily habits and medical conditions.
Visiting a dentist regularly is necessary, even for those who take excellent care of their teeth and gums. A dentist is able to check for and identify issues that you may not be aware of. Dental problems such as cavities, gum disease and cancer are often not visible and don’t cause pain until they are in more advanced stages. Regular visits to your dentist helps detect issues early and treat them when they are manageable.
While visiting the dentist twice a year works well for most people, some people are able to go longer between visits and others may require more frequent visits. People with a low risk for cavities or gum disease are able to see their dentist annually. Conversely, people who have a higher risk of dental disease may need to visit every few months. People who may need to see the dentist more often include:
- Cancer patients - Treatment for cancer sometimes causes oral health problems such as dry mouth and infection
- Diabetes - People who have diabetes are at a higher risk of gum disease, fungal infections, and other oral problems
- Heart disease - Overall dental health is connected to heart health. Frequent dental cleanings may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke
- HIV positive - HIV and its treatment create a higher risk of dental decay and infections.
- Pregnant women - Pregnancy hormones can cause an inflammation of the gums called gingivitis in addition to other problems
- People who have gum disease, who tend to get cavities or have excessive plaque build-up
- Smokers - Tobacco use is a risk factor for periodontitis which is a severe gum disease in addition to oral cancer
The dental schedule for any person may change over time. If a person is undergoing additional stress or suffering from an illness, they may need to see the dentist more frequently.
In addition to regular checkups, it is recommended to visit your dentist in the following situations:
- You experience chronic tooth or gum pain
- Gums are red, swollen or bleed
- Persistent mouth sores which do not improve over time
- Tooth sensitivity to heat, cold or pressure
- Loss of a filling
- Chronic dry mouth
- Jaw pain or clicking
More on Dentistry : What is Holistic Dentistry?