How often should I go to the Dentist?

Nothing holds truer than the adage Prevention is better than cure in the dental industry. But most of the time, we only visit our dentists when we experience severe symptoms. When was the last time you visited a dentist without a painful tooth or bleeding gums?

dentist - happy young boy dental check up with putney dental care

Most Sydneysiders are content on providing their own oral health routine and going to their dentist only when it hurts. Top dentists in Ryde recommend that you visit your dentist regularly for a dental examination. Dental professionals have the right expertise to spot diseases that you may not notice. A lot of dental problems don’t become visible to the average person until they are in the later stages. In addition, a lot of dental problems are preventable and manageable, especially in the early stages. This preventive approach allows for more simple and cost-effective treatments, rather than more complex and expensive procedures.

So how often should you go to the dentist?

The Twice a Year Rule

One of the enduring recommendations in the dental world is to visit your dentist twice in a year. The actual origin of this rule of thumb was actually a Pepsodent ad in 1929. To sell more toothpaste, the company used a slogan that says people should brush twice daily and visit the dentist, you guessed it, twice a year.

Unfortunately, there are no studies that suggest that visiting the dentist twice a year is better than any other visiting frequency. But that doesn’t mean it is not a helpful rule to live by. It works well for the average person. In our experience, what we do recommend is to schedule your frequency of visits based on your oral hygiene habits and medical conditions. There is no one-size-fits-all rule when it comes to your oral health. The best way to find out how often you should go to the dentist is through consultation.

Preventive Dentistry

You need to remember that a visit to the dentist does not simply mean a “cleaning session”. It also involves an oral examination to determine the presence of diseases in both the soft and hard tissues of the mouth. These are your gums, teeth and all other oral structures. People that have a high risk of oral health issues need to visit the dentist more frequently. These high-risk groups include the following:

  • Smokers – Due to the ingredients present in cigarettes as well as the drying effect it has in the mouth, smokers are at a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Pregnant women – During pregnancy, hormonal imbalance can cause swollen gums, teeth sensitivity and even tooth decay.
  • Cancer patients – Chemotherapy affects saliva production which lessens the natural rinsing of oral bacteria. It can also cause jaw stiffness.
  • People with a weak immune response – A weak immune system can cause oral bacteria to build up and damage your oral structures.
  • People prone to cavities and plaque – Some people have the tendency to build up plaque and develop cavities because of diet or genetics. This gives them a high risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease.

To answer the question of how often you should go to the dentist, you need to know more about your current medical condition and risk factors. While two regular appointments per year is a helpful guide, it is best to schedule your visits based on your individual health.

Learn more about your current dental condition and other factors that could affect your oral health. Call us on (02) 9808 2588 or send us an email at smile@putneydentalcare.com.au.