How often should I see the dentist?

How often should I see the dentist?

As the end of summer approaches many of us are back to work and back to school. As our schedules get busier, it's important not to forget about your teeth! If it has been more than six months since you were last at the dentist, chances are you are due for a visit.

Most patients see the dentist twice a year for a checkup and cleaning. However, for patients with a history of periodontal disease or with certain risk factors like smoking, diabetes or frequent cavities, it may be recommended that they see the dentist more frequently. Patients who are currently undergoing orthodontic treatment may also need to get dental cleanings more frequently to help keep their gums healthy. The American Dental Association recommends working with your dentist to develop a personalized oral care routine based on your specific needs.

What can you expect at your initial dental exam? First your dentist will review your medical and dental history. We will likely take images or x-rays of your teeth to check the teeth for cavities as well as to check the bone health. Then your dentist will check your mouth including all of the soft tissue and hard tissue (teeth). We will look for signs of gum disease, oral cancer, cavities and even grinding. You will then have your teeth cleaned to remove all the plaque and calculus. Based on all of the information collected your dentist will let you know if you need any more treatment.

What can you do in between visits to the dentist? Make sure that you gently brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes and clean between your teeth daily. This can be done with floss, interdental/interproximal brushes, or an oral irrigator such as a water flosser. If you notice changes in your teeth or gums between your regular dental visits make sure to let your dentist know. We look forward to seeing you!

 

Sarah Schuback, D.M.D

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