Regardless of how you feel about your overall oral health, it's important to visit a dentist regularly. A reasonable goal is to have an oral health check at least once a year, although some evidence suggests that people with a low risk of contracting the disease may last up to 18 to 24 months. It is often said that you should go to the dentist twice a year, and this is a good rule of thumb to follow when in doubt. However, if you want to be sure how often you need to have a dental checkup, you need to consider your mouth, hygiene, habits, and general well-being. Most of us know that visiting the dentist regularly is essential for a healthy mouth, but how many of us actually go? 42% of American adults admit that they don't go to the dentist as often as they would like, and 15% said they went to their last appointment because they were in pain.
How often should you go to the dentist and why is it so important? Read on to learn how often you should have a dental checkup and cleaning, and how this benefits your overall health. It's a standard recommendation in the U. S. that both children and adults must visit a dentist every six months for an oral cleaning and exam. Many dental insurance companies cover two check-ups a year, and this frequency allows dental professionals to detect any problem when it's still small and affordable to treat.
Fluctuating pregnancy hormones can put pregnant women at greater risk of developing gum disease and tooth decay. Some cancer drugs can dry out the mouth and increase the risk of patients suffering from oral health problems. Diabetes can contribute to gum problems and other oral health problems. Tobacco use can cause gum disease and also hinder the body's healing after dental procedures and oral surgeries. Oral health is important when it comes to preventing heart disease, because bacteria in the mouth can reach the heart.
People with poor oral health have higher rates of cardiovascular problems compared to people with healthy mouths. Regular dental cleanings and check-ups can reduce the risk of developing heart disease. If you meet any of the above criteria, you should tell your dentist. If you are going to get X-rays, your dental hygienist will take them at the beginning of your appointment so that your dentist has a chance to review them before examining your mouth. There are many benefits of a dental cleaning. The hygienist will clean your teeth with scrapers and other dental instruments that will gently remove plaque and tartar from tooth surfaces and just below the gumline.
Then, they'll polish your teeth with a paste and floss between your teeth. Your hygienist can alert you to areas that need a little more attention when cleaning your teeth. They can also tell you the right way to brush and floss your teeth. Before examining your teeth and gums, your dentist may first test for oral cancer. It involves examining the palate, tongue, throat, inside the cheeks and other parts of the oral cavity for any signs of cancer.
They'll also feel the outside of the jaw and throat to check for any abnormalities. The dentist is often the first line of defense when treating oral cancer, as they are likely to detect it sooner than another doctor. This is one of the reasons why it's so important to have regular dental checkups. Oral cancer can spread quickly, and early detection is vital to treat it. Then, your dentist will examine your teeth for cavities, cracks, chips, and other damage that may need repair.
The dental hygienist helps them trace any teeth that require treatment. Fillings and other dental treatments don't last forever, so a dentist checks their condition during an exam. They will make recommendations for a new filling, crown or bridge if the current one no longer keeps the tooth strong and healthy. The dentist will also check the condition of the gums for any signs of gingivitis (the early stage of gum disease) or periodontitis (the later stages). Gingivitis can be stopped and reversed with proper home oral care and regular dental cleanings, but periodontitis requires specialized treatment by a periodontist. Complying with your regular dental checkups and cleanings is all about preventive care.
Treating oral problems during their early stages is less expensive and requires less time in the dentist's office compared to only going to the dentist when you feel pain. Your dental team can also determine if you are doing a good job with your oral hygiene at home or if you need to intensify it. Your oral health can affect your overall health, so visiting your dentist regularly should be as natural as going to your primary care doctor for checkups. Now that you know how often you should visit the dentist, are you late for a checkup? Patrick is a clinical researcher and registrar specializing in restorative dentistry based at the Dundee School of Dentistry. However, the results of this review assure those receiving and seeking dental treatment that intervals between check-ups can last beyond six months without harming patients' oral health.
These routine visits allow dentists to detect any dental problems or other oral health issues that may not have been noticed otherwise. It is interesting to note that dental check-ups allow for early detection of oral diseases such as dental caries or gum disease. A study was conducted at a public dental clinic in Norway on children and adults under 20 years old which concluded that it is still recommended to check for signs of these diseases at each examination as well as remove patients at high risk more frequently than those at low risk from these diseases. Dental treatments are scheduled as needed while dental check-ups follow.