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How Often Should You Visit the Dentist?

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Dental check-ups serve as a means to keep your teeth in tip-top shape. Although it may seem obvious, family dental care is of the utmost importance, especially in a day and age where multiple factors can pose a threat to your family’s oral health. Sugary, sour, and acidic foods can serve as a gateway for cavities to form. Store-bought whitening strips can cause extreme tooth sensitivity, gum irritation, and the potential destruction of your teeth’s enamel. Drinking coffee can cause yellowing of the teeth over time and excessive plaque buildup can cause gum disease and inflammation. With so many dangers when it comes to keeping your teeth healthy and clean, you may sometimes wonder how often you and your family should actually visit the dentist per year. It really depends on your oral health and a variety of other factors, including age, insurance, your current dental routine, and overall health. The average answer, however, is 2 times per year:
For the typical patient, dentists normally suggest a visit twice a year, or every 6 months. Why is this the most popular route? For starters, cavity prevention is one of the main concerns when it comes to family dental care, and it can take months, or even years, for a cavity to form. A dental check-up and a proper cleaning twice per year is a strong defense when it comes to preventing cavities, but certain precautionary measures can also be taken at home, such as limiting sugary soda intake. Dental care is an on-going process and follows the same general principles as exercise: as long as you’re committed at home, you’ll see results. Those who follow a dental routine will continuously see great results when it comes to oral health, which lowers the need to visit a dentist more than twice a year. A proper dental routine includes brushing twice per day with a toothpaste that includes fluoride, as well as flossing once per day. Most dental insurance companies also primarily only offer plans that include routine cleanings twice per year, making it the most popular choice among families and individuals. Even those who do not have insurance can receive quality dental care twice annually with plans such as our Smile Advantage Plan. 

Does twice a year apply to everyone?

In certain cases, people may need to see the dentist more than twice a year. For some, this is due to considerable oral health such as excessive plaque or tartar buildup, but for others, it may just be a personal desire to keep their teeth fresh and clean. There are multiple elements to take into consideration when determining if you should visit the dentist more than twice a year. Pregnancy, for example, causes a higher risk for gingivitis due to hormonal changes. Diabetes, heart disease, and cancer treatment can also put you at a higher risk for oral health issues, so it’s always best to reach out to your dentist for the best course of action. In some of these scenarios, especially when it comes to personal preference, you may only need to see a dental hygienist for the necessary teeth cleaning more than twice a year, rather than the dentist for a mandatory checkup.
The takeaway:
Visiting the dentist for a routine cleaning twice per year should be enough to cover the average patient. Family dental care is crucial, and if it takes visiting the dentist more than twice a year to keep your family’s teeth strong and healthy, then there are certainly options that you and your dentist can explore going forward. If you believe you should be visiting the dentist more often than twice a year, depending on factors such as excessive tartar buildup, heart disease, or personal preference, then contact your dentist today or discuss your interest at your next check-up.
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