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How Often Should You Schedule a Dental Examination and Why Is It Important For Your Health?

May 3, 2019

1/3 of Americans skipped their dental examination and cleaning last year.

Regularly visiting the dentist is important for your overall health. Even if you don’t think you need to visit the dentist, your dentist can catch serious dental problems that you can’t see or feel.

dental examination
Do you really need to visit the dentist twice a year? And why is a dental examination important for your health?

When your dentist catches problems at an early stage, he or she can manage the disease more easily. Dental problems often don’t show signs or symptoms until they are in an advanced stage.

Regular dental visits can prevent painful and costly dental problems. So how often should you visit the dentist?

Keep reading for more information on how often to schedule a dental examination.

A Quick Background

Dental health has not always been a priority for Americans. In fact, in recent history, Americans had pretty bad teeth.

People did not regularly get their teeth examined. When soldiers signed up for the military, they would undergo a complete examination that included their teeth.

This was probably the first time in American history that people starting paying much attention to their teeth.

Dental health was previously focused on fixing problems rather than preventing them in the first place. But we finally realized it’s a lot easier and cheaper to prevent dental problems than it is to fix them. 

Twice A Year?

When America first started to focus on preventative dental health, it didn’t have much to go on.

Health organizations and dental organizations decided to set standards for how preventative dentistry should work. They took a guess and determined that people should visit the dentist twice a year to get a cleaning and checkup.

Doing this would prevent gum disease and cavities. While it’s not known for sure, some people think that the toothpaste brand Pepsodent was the first to advertise this twice-a-year advice.

How Often Should You Go

For most people, twice a year is a good rule of thumb. However, how often you should visit the dentist usually comes down to your individual circumstances.

These include your oral hygiene habits and other medical conditions. People who take excellent care of their teeth and gums on their own might not need to go twice a year.

Most of us don’t floss as often as we should, so twice a year is a reasonable frequency to visit the dentist. Even if you have little risk of developing cavities or gum disease, you should visit the dentist at least once a year.

More Complicated Cases

There are some people who need to go to the dentist more than twice a year. This includes people with a high risk of dental disease.

Members of this group include:

  • Pregnant women
  • People with diabetes
  • Smokers
  • People who already have gum disease
  • People with weakened immune systems or who are susceptible to bacterial infections
  • People who frequently get cavities or have high levels of plaque

These people may need to visit the dentist every few months, if not more often.

How often you should visit the dentist is not set in stone and will change as you go through life. It’s important to have a good relationship with your dentist. He or she will help you determine the best dental schedule for your needs.

Schedule a Dental Examination Today

Regular dental examinations can save you time, money, and pain.

Being able to catch dental problems in their early stages is one of the biggest accomplishments of modern dentistry. If you skipped your dental examination last year, call today to schedule an appointment. 

To learn more about what dental insurance covers, check out this article.