Believe it or not, 50 years ago you would only go see a wilmington dentist if you needed to have serious work done on your teeth. Dental businesses focused on fixing teeth rather than preventing problems. At the time, there were no guidelines or recommendations that helped American people understand how often they should visit the dentist. Based on the horrible oral health of US military personnel, US national health organizations determined that guidelines were needed to help the American population improve their oral health. From this point moving forward Americans were encouraged to develop oral hygiene habits and make regular appointments with their dentist. Below is more information to help you determine how often you should visit your dentist.
The “Twice a Year” or 6 Month Rule
Unfortunately, in the beginning there wasn’t any evidence to help set oral health prevention guidelines. As with many health guidelines, the “twice a year rule”, that many have accepted as the rule of thumb, is based on what is best for most people. In reality, how often you should visit the dentist is based on your own personal oral health status. So why has this “twice a year rule” been publicly accepted? Oral health is not the first thing that comes to mind when most Americans think of their health. Maybe it is not a bad thing to have an easy to remember reminder that helps Americans remember its time to check in on their gums and teeth.
I Brush at Home Twice Daily, so Why Every 6 months?
Even if you brush and floss daily at home and your teeth are in great shape, it is important that you still see the dentist regularly. Why? It is common that the initial stages of issues or disease development with teeth, gums, or mouth cannot be seen or felt and symptoms don’t develop until the issues have progressed. The earlier these issues are identified and treated by your dentist the better to keep you safe.
How Often Should You Visit the Dentist?
So what is the answer? How often do YOU need to visit the dentist? The answer really varies for everyone. The best way to decide on the frequency of your dental visits is to have a conversation with your dentist. For most, going to the dentist twice a year is perfect maintenance. Individuals who are at higher risk of gum disease or cavities, may need to make more frequent visits, such as every three to four months. High risk individuals include smokers, pregnant women, individuals with diabetes, or people who are in the stages of developing gum disease or struggle with excessive plaque build-up. Do not be alarmed if your suggested frequency of visits changes from time to time. If your dentist has performed a treatment or is watching a problem area they may ask you to return sooner than 6 months. This is not something to be alarmed of, they just want to make sure to prevent the development of bigger issues.
Overall, if you have healthy teeth and gums, practice good oral hygiene at home, and see your dentist routinely for exams and cleanings, you are doing well. The best way to determine what is best for YOU is to start by talking to your dentist!
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