How Often Should You Go to the Dentist?

How Often Should You Go to the Dentist?

Your teeth are a dynamic part of your body and need consistent care – part of that care is making sure you’re visiting the dentist. But what are the guidelines around how often you should go to the dentist?

Routine Appointments

Regular dentist appointments focus on preventative care. According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 1 in 4 adults have untreated tooth decay. Routine dentist appointments – typically a teeth cleaning every six months – will keep teeth healthy and help prevent more serious dental issues. 

If you have dental insurance, be sure to review it. There may be rules about how often you can or need to regularly visit the dentist in order to receive full benefits. 

Unplanned Dentist Appointments 

Typically teeth should feel strong and healthy. If you experience pain, don’t ignore it. Pain can be a sign of a greater problem – get it checked out as soon as possible. 

Be on the lookout for symptoms such as pain or bleeding in your gums, hot and cold sensitivity, or sudden toothache.

Sometimes you’ll need to go to the dentist to fix a previous procedure. If a crown breaks or filling comes out, call your dentist. Many offices can squeeze in a same-day emergency appointment. 

Pediatric Dental Health

Kids should visit a pediatric dentist for their dental care. Pediatric dentists receive additional training during dental school. They focus on treating infants through adolescents.

It’s recommended that infants begin seeing a pediatric dentist when their first tooth appears. From there, children should typically visit the dentist every six months for regular cleanings. 

Kids may also need a dentist appointment for specific childhood procedures – for example sealants. This simple procedure seals the surface of a tooth and helps prevent cavities. 

It’s especially important to develop good dental habits in childhood – the benefits can last a lifetime. 

Medical Conditions Affecting Dental Health

Certain diseases cause a higher risk for tooth and gum complications. These include diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. In these cases, you may need to go to the dentist more frequently.

Smoking also increases the risk of tooth and mouth disease – smokers can develop gum issues and oral cancer. Let your dentist know about any medical conditions or habits that could affect your dental health. 

Remember – dental health is very connected to your overall greater health. Taking regular trips to the dentist and being aware of dental conditions keeps you on track for staying healthy. 

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