If you’re like most people, there’s a good chance you’re not too sure about how often you should go to the dentist.
It’s no secret that a lot of people don’t particularly enjoy their dentist visits, though, it’s imperative to make an appointment every once in a while to ensure you’re getting on top of issues before they become critical.
That said, if you’re wondering how often you should go to the dentist, things can be a little confusing. When you consider that some dentists suggest around every three to six months and others book annual appointments, it’s hard to know when to go.
In this article, we’ll help clear up some of the confusion and give you a bit of guidance when it comes to visiting the dentist and general oral hygiene.
Let’s take a look.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for professional dental advice. It’s always best to speak with your dentist for their expert advice on when to schedule your appointments.
To kick things off, it’s always good to keep in mind your own oral health circumstances.
If you’re someone who has routine issues with their teeth, gums, bite or anything else — or if you have a history of dental problems — it’s a good idea to see your local oral health professionals on a more routine basis.
In line with this, we would suggest, as most dental professionals would, to see them at least every three to six months.
However, for those of us who have few issues with our teeth and aren’t predisposed to conditions or don’t have high risk levels for dental problems, the annual check-up may be the one that is suggested for you.
To add, there are no standard guidelines outlined by the World Health Organisation or Australia’s Department of Health on how frequently we should see our dentist. The Australian guide simply states that it’s best to consider your own oral health needs, and use these needs to guide your frequency of dental check-ups.
Dentist Visit Frequency Based on Evidence
Getting a little more technical now, if you’re interested in the suggested frequency of your dental visits based on evidence, then we have some insights for you below.
With a number of studies being performed over the years to understand the link between dental visit frequency and oral health issues, there is still no conclusive evidence which found that one specific frequency is better than the other.
A vast majority of dentists in Australia still suggest the three to sixth-month appointment window, however, due to the fact that the 3-6 month timespan is ideal for spotting oral health issues early enough to reduce the chance of further damage.
In that vein, you’ll also find that catching an oral health problem within that three to six month window gives your treatment a better chance at being effective, according to most Australian dentists.
However — there is no concrete evidence to stand by this time frame.
To conclude, what the evidence does seem to show us is that you’ll want to base your dental visit timeframe on your individual needs.
As an example, for the complex and rather complicated issues and treatments, or recurring issues, a three-month return might be a better option for you.
Why a Routine Check-up Is Important
Taking away the dentist visit frequency argument, there still remains a high level of importance for you to visit your dentist.
The more often you see your local dental health professional, the better chance they’ll have to spot minor declines in your oral health. For example, seeing your dentist on a routine three to six month basis will give them the chance to find a myriad of issues as early as possible — such as gum disease, tooth decay, receding gums and more.
As we’re sure you’ll agree, these are the issues you want to catch as early as possible.
A second point to consider when determining your dental visits are your dental cleanings.
These are designed to strip your teeth of calculus or ‘plaque’ and keep your gums healthy and free from bacteria build-up. Without these processes occurring on a routine basis, you could be increasing your chances of dental issues down the line.
However, we must mention that there is, again, no concrete evidence dictating when and how often dental cleanings need to happen, though your dental hygienist or dentist will let you know how often you should make an appointment.
When to Visit the Dentist
To end our article, we will say that the only person who can tell you when and how often to visit the dentist — is your dentist.
This frequency will be based upon your oral history, your teeth and gum’s current level of cleanliness and signs of critical issue.
If you haven’t made an appointment for longer than twelve months, it’s always good to give your local oral health professional a call and organise a check-up for peace of mind.
In all, there isn’t a set time for how often you should go to the dentist, however, it’s always best to visit sooner rather than later. You’ll want to catch potential issues early, keep on top of potential decay and have a bright, healthy smile for as long as possible.