How often do I need to see the dentist?
The American Dental Association recommends that everyone see their dentist twice each year for examinations and cleanings. The ADA recommends seeing your dentist about every six months.
In addition, most patients should have x-rays taken at least once each year. For those patients who have gum disease, regular trips to the dentist might need to be more frequent, depending on your condition and your dentist’s recommendation.
I brush and floss diligently at home. Does this mean I can go to the dentist less frequently?
If you are good about brushing and flossing regularly, congratulations! This is one part of maintaining good oral health. Visiting your dentist regularly is also important. There are issues that only your dentist can spot. For example, gum disease is often present in patients without any symptoms. It is best to have the issue identified by your dentist before it gets out of hand.
My mouth feels fine. Do I still need to go to the dentist?
If you are not having any dental problems, that’s definitely a good thing. But just because you are not having any specific issues, this is no reason to put off a regular trip to the dentist. When it comes to issues with your teeth and gums, finding them earlier—before they are even noticeable to you—is always better. If problems are detected early on, treatment is generally less invasive, less expensive, and less painful.
It’s also important to note that people who visit their dentist regularly tend to have fewer dental emergencies. This is also good to keep in mind when you are tempted to put off that regularly scheduled trip to the dentist!