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08 July 2014

How often should I see the dentist for check-up and cleaning?

Determining the frequency of your visits to the dentist within a year and the amount of time in between each check-up is dependent on the health and condition of your teeth, mouth, and gums, plus your risk for dental disease. Generally, the lower your risk of dental problems, the longer you have to come back for the next check-up.

It is recommended to visit your dentist for a check-up and cleaning at least twice a year, which is every six months. This works well for most people. This rule applies in general to those with perfectly healthy and undamaged teeth, with no history of dental disease. Some people with very little risk of cavities or gum disease can get away with once-a-year visits to their dentist. While some people may not need to go as often, there are definitely those who need more frequent check-ups. Those who have undergone dental treatments such as a crown or filling, plus those who have a history of dental disease are recommended to visit their dentist every four months. Finally, those who have a history of being highly susceptible to dental disease are recommended to visit their dentist every two to three months. Those considered under high risk includes diabetics, smokers, people with weak immune systems or prone to bacterial infection, people who often get cavities or plaque build-up, and people currently with gum disease.

If during the time in between check-ups you experience any problems with your teeth, it’s best to contact your dentist right away. Regular visits to the dentist contribute to your overall dental health and good oral hygiene throughout the year. It also allows your dentist to find early signs of disease or other dental problems, if any. If found out early, dental problems can be effectively managed and treated. If you are still unsure of your dental health status and how often you should visit your dentist, remember to ask your dentist for advice on your next check-up.

It’s also helpful to note that schedules and frequency of visits to the dentist may change during a lifetime. Factors such as stress and serious or sudden illness may affect the urgency for dental check-ups and treatments. Also, if you are currently sick and/or taking any prescribed medication, it may not be advisable to undergo dental treatment. Consult your doctor to be sure and if this is the case, reschedule your dental treatment after your recovery.

Keeping faithful to your regular dental check-ups isn’t enough. It definitely isn’t a cure all. Observing proper oral hygiene routines at home every day is also key to maintaining the health of your teeth and gums. This typically includes brushing and flossing your teeth twice daily, and using mouthwash regularly. It is a must to replace your toothbrush every three months, and immediately after a bout of flu or other form of sickness. It’s also important to ensure cleanliness of your toothbrush and other oral hygiene paraphernalia. All these tips can help you maintain clean, healthy, plaque-free teeth that are protected from gum disease and decay.

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