How often should I visit the dentist?

By - Bad Breath Expert

SUMMARY:  Though the one-size-fits-all approach may not be right for everyone, twice-a-year visits are a good place to start.

Posted: July 11, 2014

The American Dental Association recommends that children and adults visit the dentist every six months for a preventive checkup. A good way to remember when to schedule an appointment is to see the dentist during your birthday month so you'll always have a point of reference. As an added bonus, your smile will be in sparkling shape for photos on your special day. 

Who should see the dentist more often?
While biannual cleanings may be sufficient for adults without certain oral health risk factors, those at a high risk might want to visit the dental office more frequently, according to a 2013 study published in The Journal of Dental Research.

"If you are high risk, it is much more important for you to be seen frequently, but for the low-risk people it's not," Dr. William V. Giannobile, the study's lead author and the chairman of the department of periodontics at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, told The New York Times.

The study pointed out that almost one-half of adults age 30 and older - about 65 million people - have a form of chronic inflammatory gum disease that could ultimately result in tooth loss. The percentage of adults who went to the dentist in the past year has been on the decline since the mid 2000s, according to the ADA. To prevent oral health problems, it's time to turn that trend around.

Risk factors
If you have one of the following risk factors, discuss with your dentist how many visits per year may be appropriate for you. 

  • Dental plaque buildup
  • Constant cavities
  • Teeth that are sensitive to hot or cold temperatures
  • Red, swollen or tender gums
  • Bleeding gums during/after brushing or flossing
  • Long-lasting bad breath
  • Toothache
  • Jaw pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Pregnancy
  • A spot or sore in the mouth that isn't going away
  • Smoking
  • Dull headaches from teeth grinding

Why visit the dentist?
The dentist can catch big problems while they're still small, such as plaque buildup and gum inflammation. These oral health concerns can lead to tooth decay and periodontitis, respectively. A cleaning helps steer clear of tooth pain and maintains a high bar of oral health, which may save money in dental costs down the road. When it comes to your pearly whites, prevention is the best therapy. 

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please Note: The material on this site is provided for informational purposes only.  Always consult your health care professional before beginning any new therapy.

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