Determining the number of times an individual should visit their dentist is typically assessed on a case by case period. While the general rule of thumb is twice a year, the recommended number of visits or cleanings are based on your age, diet, oral health, and level of at-home oral care. If you’ve been putting off scheduling a cleaning or can’t remember the last time you’ve had one, we’ve provided some helpful information concerning the importance of routine visits.
Why Routine Dental Visits Are Important
The majority of dentists will agree that the frequency of cleanings needed for an individual is dependent on a variety of factors. As we mentioned, twice a year is the standard for a cleaning accompanied by an exam. However, at Oral Health Associates, we can modify the frequency to shorter or longer periods depending on the patient’s oral health.
By maintaining a regular schedule, problems associated with teeth are easily identifiable. Issues that may arise are holes in teeth, a build-up of tartar, or red swollen gums that bleed easily. In addition, disease or pathology associated with your teeth or gums can often be silent and asymptomatic, allowing you to, unfortunately, think everything may be healthy. Due to this unpredictability of symptoms or visual signs, keeping a 6-month interval for checkups helps our team catch any developing issues early and keep treatment options open and hopefully minimal.
If you have a child and are curious how often they should visit the dentist, we recommend twice-a-year visits. A great way to instill healthy oral care habits is to start at a young age. By doing so, the child can establish regular cleanings and exams as part of their long-term overall health. However, some dental issues can progress more rapidly in children, so staying on top of regularly scheduled exams and cleanings is essential.
Factors That Affect Dental Care Needs
Oral care habits at home, existing dental issues, medical history, and overall commitment to health all factor into the recommended frequency of visits. Periodontal disease progression and control also influence how often an individual should see our office. We prefer to determine patient needs based on the patient and not based on their insurance. With that being said, insurance companies prefer preventative care and typically cover two cleanings annually. We understand that all insurance plans are different, and what is covered can range widely from patient to patient. At Oral Health Associates, we want to work with you to get you the care you need.
Dental Care Steps You Can Do At Home
We get it – not everyone may love visiting the dentist. Fortunately, there are some helpful steps that you can take at home that will improve your oral health and potentially keep you out of the dentist’s seat for more extended periods of time. First and foremost, brushing twice a day, flossing, and consistently using mouthwash is a great place to start. All patients are different, and some may need more commitment to habits and routines than others. Secondly, monitoring your diet, medical conditions, and activities such as smoking, vaping, using smokeless tobacco, snoring, or mouth breathing can all play a role in the level of oral care needed.
We do our best to provide personalized care to all our patients and create a tailored cleaning and examination plan that fits their needs. We understand that life gets in the way, and routine appointments may need to be changed. However, keep in mind that preventative care is truly best for you and your overall oral health.
If you want to learn more about maintaining a dental routine, schedule an appointment with Oral Health Associates and stay on top of your oral health.