26 Jun How Often Should You Go To The Dentist?
How Often Should You Go To The Dentist?
Have you been putting off taking that trip to your dentist for a while now?
Visiting the dentist regularly is essential for maintaining not only your dental health but also your overall health. A dentist can help identify and treat any problems you experience with your teeth and gums. But how often should you be making the effort to attend an appointment to maximise your dental health?
On average, the rule of thumb for people of all ages is to go every six months, although your dentist can provide a more personalised schedule depending on your situation. In this post, we will break it down to help you understand these visits and answer some questions you might have.
For personalised advice, contact our team at Boorondara Family Dentist today.
The Importance Of Dental Check-Ups
According to government research, poor oral health affects many Australians, both adults and children. From decays to oral diseases, a dentist can help you deal with various issues that are quite commonly experienced. These can affect your daily lifestyle and movements, causing discomfort or affecting your confidence. It’s good practice to stay on top of these visits because it acts as preventive care, saving you from the possible painful consequences of serious conditions like tooth decay and gum disease.
Your dental health is closely connected to your general health, too, affecting you in ways that might not be as obvious. Dentists can check for conditions that cause dental issues. For instance, rheumatoid arthritis and gum infections have been found to be related, and gum disease with heart-related risks. Oral cancer can also be found and treated with the help of a dentist.
Even something as simple as enjoying food and drink is linked to the state of your teeth and gums. Dental sensitivity affects around 45% of Australian households, and 1 in 4 Australian children have untreated decay in their baby teeth. Making a habit of going to the dentist from an early age can prevent issues from escalating and not being dealt with, which could give you a tough time in your later years.
How Many Times Should I Visit A Dentist?
As mentioned before, the healthy rule of thumb to follow is every six months. We can, however, break it down a bit further, taking into account factors such as:
- Dietary routine
- Smoking habits
- Dental hygiene
- Underlying medical conditions
*For a personalised understanding of each of these factors, talk to one of our qualified dentists at our clinic today.
The factors mentioned above affect the frequency that you should be taking into account. Children and pregnant women tend to require visits more often because they can be at higher risk for gum diseases and cavities. Older people also experience these complications, combined with the weakening and falling of their teeth. Moreover, people with complicated lifestyles that consume large amounts of alcohol, sugar and cigarettes are at higher risk for worsening oral health, according to research.
What Happens During A Dental Visit?
When you go for a checkup, a dentist will usually perform a thorough examination with the tools they deem fit. It helps them determine your overall oral condition, and look for signs of any infections, decay, irritation, or even changes in previous treatments like fillings and braces. A routine cleaning might also happen, depending on the requirements.
Sometimes, an X-ray will be taken as preparation for further treatment. This allows dentists to examine various issues on a deeper level, but these are usually avoided for young children and pregnant women. A checkup is painless and usually takes anywhere between 20-60 minutes.
Tips For Maintaining Your Dental Health
There’s really no way to get around seeing your dentist – they are qualified professionals, and no amount of being an internet doctor can replace their advice and care. But if you’re one to be caught up in a busy lifestyle or have a fear of the dentist (You’re not alone, 1 in 7 Australians experience dental anxiety), there are some tips to keep in mind between your visits. Some of them include:
- Brushing your teeth at least twice a day, before going to sleep and after waking up
- Starting or continuing to floss every day (consider ready-to-use alternatives for an easier experience)
- Limiting smoking and vaping
- Keeping alcohol consumption to a minimum
- Chewing your food properly
- Eating a well-balanced diet
Incorporating products like fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash can also be a low-effort, cost-effective way of keeping your dental hygiene flourishing. Drinking lots of water, consuming fruits and vegetables daily and consuming sugar in small amounts are great ways to complement the care of your teeth and gums. Taking care of your oral health doesn’t have to be complicated; it just requires consistency, patience, and support from a dentist.
Your dentist can advise certain routines or products as well, depending on your unique needs. This is because every individual has different dental needs and routine requirements. For instance, for those with braces, there may be special toothbrushes, and other accessories may be needed. A good tip is to always ask for specific recommendations when visiting the clinic.
The Bottom Line
There isn’t a blanket answer for everyone to follow. Children may need more frequent visits to the dentist, especially with the sugary diets and on-the-surface care they may be taking.
Even adults with good oral care still need to make at least one trip a year. Sticking to the minimum of a semi-annual routine checkup is always the best approach for people of all ages, regardless of their dental health. Your requirements are unique, and will need further consultation to come up with a better plan tailored for your care and lifestyle.
Don’t know where to start? Boorondara Family Dentist has you covered. For people of all ages, from your senior parents to the little ones in your family, we provide exceptional customised services and consultations.