Visiting the dentist is one of those things that you know you should do. But many patients aren’t exactly eager to book their next appointment. Some might dread phoning the dentist if they have anxiety about teeth cleanings—for others, they might be reluctant because they know they have a cavity or another oral health issue.
Even if you don’t love going to the dentist, you still recognize how important it is. You’re wondering how often you need to muster up the courage to book an appointment. Are two cleanings a year really that important?
We’re going to explain why you shouldn’t ignore your oral health, and how often you should schedule cleanings:
Why Are Dental Cleanings Necessary?
If you brush and floss every day, you might wonder if a dental cleaning is still worthwhile. We’re going to tell you why it’s necessary to see the dentist at least twice a year, regardless of your oral hygiene habits.
Your toothbrush may be effective, but any traces of plaque that are left behind will harden into tartar. This sticky, bacteria-attracting mineral can only be removed by your dentist.
Along with removing plaque, your dentist can also assess the health of your gums. If they detect any signs of periodontal disease or infection, they can create a treatment plan for you.
When Should You See Your Dentist?
So, how often should you visit the dentist? Since the answer varies depending on your oral health, appointment frequency differs from one patient to the next. Ask yourself the following questions to determine when it’s time to call the dental office again:
Do you have gum disease?
Periodontal disease advances through several stages, beginning with gingivitis. Once it reaches the advanced stages, it becomes irreversible.
If you have gum disease, we suggest visiting your dentist every 4 months. This allows them to remove plaque buildup and closely monitor your gum tissues.
Are you pregnant?
When you’re pregnant, your body produces more progesterone, a hormone that makes your teeth more susceptible to plaque. Throughout your pregnancy, we recommend seeing your dentist more frequently to prevent gingivitis.
Are you at a higher risk of tooth decay?
Maybe you’ve been in the routine of seeing the dentist once or twice a year. But if you tend to get a cavity filled each time, it might be best to come in more often.
Even after your teeth are cleaned, plaque returns within a few hours and forms tartar within days. If you have a history of dental issues, you may be at a higher risk of getting cavities, tooth infections, or damaged teeth.
Do you have any health conditions?
If you have diabetes, you may not be aware of how it affects your oral health. High blood sugar can lead to inflamed gums, dry mouth, and thrush (a fungal infection). Those with diabetes should see their dentist fairly regularly.
Those who smoke/chew tobacco, or drink alcohol may also want to consider frequent cleanings. These substances put you at a higher risk of developing oral cancer. Your dentist can examine the tissues of your mouth and detect any abnormalities.
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then you are at a higher risk for developing oral health issues. Is it time to make your next dental appointment?
It’s hard to find the time for dental cleanings. At East Kildonan Dental Group, we can accommodate those who have busy schedules. We’re open days and evenings Monday to Friday, as well as during the day on Saturdays. When you’re due for a dental cleaning, give us a call!