Dental Health and Routine Check-Up
Routine Dental Check-Ups
There are many misconceptions surrounding how often people believe they need to visit their dentist for a routine check-up, and that is because the frequency at which a person needs to see their dentist is relevant to the individual. For example, a dentist may wish to see a patient again after three months if a problem or condition has been identified, whereas a patient with good oral health may not need another appointment for up to two years.
The main reason that dentists recommend routine check-ups is so that any dental issues or conditions that could conceivably arise are not left untreated and therefore allowed to cause significant harm to your oral health. As with many medical or health conditions, the earlier the point at which they are identified, the more efficiently and effectively they can be dealt with.
A standard dental appointment should involve:
a) A discussion of any problems a patient has been having with the teeth, gums, or mouth.
b) A thorough examination of the teeth, gums, and mouth.
c) A discussion about how general lifestyle and dietary habits may be affecting your oral health.
d) An advice on effective tooth brushing and cleaning, and which methods and products would be best suited to your needs.
e) A clear recommendation on a recall period and how soon you should be soon for your next dental appoint.
How Often Should You Go to the Dentist?
More than 50 years ago, examinations of people entering the military showed that Americans' teeth were in pretty bad shape. Few people took good care of their teeth. There were no guidelines for how often you should see a dentist. Many dentists focused on fixing problems rather than preventing them.
Dental and health organizations decided there was a need to set standards for preventive dentistry. They didn't have much evidence, so they made a "best guess" recommendation. They said people should go to the dentist twice a year for checkups and cleaning.
This proved to be a useful rule of thumb and has remained common. Even if you take excellent care of your teeth and gums at home, you still need to see your dentist regularly. Your dentist can check for problems that you may not see or feel. Many dental problems don't become visible or cause pain until they are in more advanced stages. Examples include cavities, gum disease and oral cancer.
Regular visits allow your dentist to find early signs of disease. Problems can be treated at a manageable stage.
On average, seeing a dentist twice a year works well for most people. A few people can get away with fewer visits. Others may need more frequent visits. People with very little risk of cavities or gum disease can do fine seeing their dentist just once a year. People with a high risk of dental disease might need to visit every three or four months, or more. This high-risk group includes:
The schedule for any person may change during a lifetime. In times of stress or illness, you may need to see the dentist more often than usual. The dentist may help you to fight off a temporary infection or treat changes in your mouth.