Not so long ago when people went to the dentist it was normally because something was wrong with their teeth. The dentist simply tried to fix the problem as well as possible. There were no guidelines provided telling you how often you should arrange an appointment to see your dentist and whether regular visits did any good.
Prevention rather than cure
Today the attitude towards teeth has changed dramatically. Not only are people far more concerned about losing their teeth there is a changing attitude towards one’s facial appearance, too. The dental industry has responded quickly towards this trend and as well as providing a full range of cosmetic procedures it also suggests you visit your dentist twice yearly. This is so your teeth can be monitored for such things as build-up of plaque, signs of tooth decay, signs of receding gums and cavity formation.
Most dentists will take harmless x-rays of your teeth and gums so any minor cavity formation or other problems can be seen under x-ray before they are visible to the naked eye. A small cavity can be filled which will keep the problem tooth functioning as it should. The dental profession believes that early detection of a tooth related problem saves teeth and prevents painful teeth problems.
If you maintain a regular brushing and flossing routine the chances of needing treatment is far less if you attend a dental appointment once every 6 months. However, this is not always the situation and problems can occur with your teeth which you didn’t expect. Many problems with your teeth don’t appear visible or inflict pain until the advanced stages have already been reached. Some specific examples include:
- gum disease;
- cavity formation;
- oral cancer.
A regular dental check-up allows your dentist to find any problems with your teeth well before any serious dental problem has started to embed itself.
Generally visiting your dentist every 6 months suits many people. Some people don’t need as many visits as others while they are a few people around who need to see their dentist more often. People whose risk of developing a cavity or even gum disease appears relatively high may wish to arrange more frequent visits to their dentist. The high-risk group could be:
- women who are pregnant;
- people who already have gum disease;
- people with a weak immune system;
- people who often get cavities occurring or the build up of damaging plaque;
If you brush and floss twice a day and your teeth are cared for and there is no sign of gum disease or cavity your dentist may well be prepared to tell you to come for an appointment less frequently. The more you show you can look after your teeth the more likely the dentist will decide to lengthen the time you should attend appointments. Do remember that looking after your teeth properly minimises the chance of tooth loss and seeing your dentist twice a year both suits your health and your teeth.