Six months is usually enough time to catch things early
Proper brushing and flossing technique is vital
More frequent visits may be needed
It’s strongly recommended that one see a dentist every six months – or twice a year. This has been debated over the years, but it still remains generally what a dentist’s office will recommend to their patients and what they will largely book them for, barring any dental emergencies, of course.
The twice-yearly visits was actually an advertising campaign for the newly-invented Pepsodent,the first toothpaste to be readily available in many households. It helped bring dentistry to the forefront of people’s minds, since before that it was more of a last resort than a first.
The question is – what is the reasoning behind this? Why should one see a dentist twice a year?
Correcting Things Early
People can feel that they take sufficient care of their teeth to avoid seeing the dentist. That’s a potentially dangerous mindset to have. Even if they do brush their teeth twice a day and floss, there may be bacteria lurking under the gumline that can wind up causing gum disease that can rapidly worsen.
A dentist or a hygienist can spot flaws in one’s toothbrushing routine and be able to help them get back on course before any real damage has been done. Avoiding dental visits may mean that it may be too late for early detection and thus possible major work being required
The thing with gum disease, if it’s gone beyond gingivitis, it can’t be fully cured, just held in check. Becoming negligent again can lead to recurrence. That’s where a regular exam is important. Each time, the dentist or hygienist will look for signs of any problems. It’s best if they spot these things early.
There are several useful diagnostic things done during a visit – X-rays, an oral cancer screening, and an exam for gum disease, including dead teeth. If all looks good, then a cleaning is done and the six-month follow-up is made:
Things do happen sometimes despite the best efforts. Something may come up between visits and become advanced. In that case, a dentist will likely even forgo the six-month rule-of-thumb and have the patient come in every three or so months until things look satisfactory.
There are some groups of people who may also need to see a dentist every few months:
- Pregnant women
- Immune-compromised people
- Those with pre-dispositions to getting cavities
While six months is the usual cut off, there may be people who have such a high quality of self-care that a dentist may be okay with seeing them once a year. That will be the dentist’s call and can change if things look worse at the next visit.
Taking care of one’s teeth has never been easier than now with affordable electric toothbrushes and toothpastes that can target things like sensitive teeth. Those visits are the glue that can hold everything together.
The staff at US Dental Medical believes in twice-yearly visits. They will gladly show patients the proper brushing and flossing techniques so that they can get the most out of each visit.