How often should you visit the dentist? It’s a question a lot of us have asked ourselves. While we don’t want to wait too long and end up with dental problems, we also don’t want to go to the dentist more often than we have to. So how long should we wait between dental appointments? And how do we know when it’s time for our next dental checkup?
How Often to Schedule Dentist Visits?
How often we should see the dentist may not be as simple of a question as it seems. Each person’s dental history and dental hygiene habits are different, so how often they should see the dentist will be different too. Let’s take a look at some factors that can influence how often we should see the dentist.
If You’ve Had Recent Cavities or Dental Work
The last time you visited the dentist, did you need to have a cavity filled? Or, have you had other dental work, like a root canal, tooth extraction, dental implants or dental bridges? If this is the case, you may need to see the dentist more regularly than average.
Also, if you’re using braces or alignment trays like Invisalign, you’ll need to see your dentist on a regular basis. Your orthodontist will tell you how often you should make appointments, but scheduling visits every 4 to 10 weeks is typical depending on whether you have traditional braces or alignment trays. If you don’t keep up on regular dental appointments when you’re aligning your teeth, this process will take longer, or may stop working.
Why should you see your dentist more frequently if you’ve had recent cavities or if you’ve had dental work? In general, you have an increased risk of having other dental issues. If you’ve recently had a cavity and nothing in your habits has changed, you’re more likely to get another one. Though it’s not common, dental surgeries can sometimes result in complications too, so it’s a good idea to follow your dentist’s advice and revisit when they recommend it, likely within a month of any major dental work and then twice a year additionally for preventative maintenance.
If You Haven’t Had Recent Cavities or Dental Work
If you brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss once a day, and drink mostly water throughout the day, you’re much less likely to get cavities, gum disease, or other dental issues. If you haven’t had cavities the last three times you’ve visited the dentist, and your dental hygiene habits are good, you can likely keep to a more regular dental visit schedule.
While this may be good motivation to make regular tooth brushing and flossing a part of your routine, it’s important to remember that you should still visit the dentist twice a year. Though good dental hygiene habits will help you prevent cavities and gum disease, it can still happen. A dentist will notice these problems before they become larger issues with regular visits.
If You Have Tooth Pain, Spots, or Lesions
Tooth pain can have many causes, but if you have persistent tooth pain, you should see a dentist as soon as you can. Even if you’ve had an appointment recently, persistent tooth pain can indicate a cavity, teeth grinding, gum disease, a cracked tooth, or another dental issue.
If you notice lesions, sores, or discolorations on your teeth, gums, tongue, or other parts of your mouth, you should see a dentist as soon as possible. If these spots don’t go away, it can be a sign of mouth cancer.
How Often Should Kids See the Dentist?
Since kids’ teeth are still developing, they should see the dentist more often than adults. Also, kids tend to eat more sugary foods and drinks than adults, so they’re at a higher risk for cavities. A child should first see the dentist when their first tooth appears. Then, a child should see the dentist every six months at the very least. Remember, kids can get cavities in their temporary teeth, and leaving this tooth decay untreated can cause more severe dental problems.
If you haven’t seen the dentist in the last year, you should make an appointment as soon as you can. Cavities can take from six months to three years to develop, so regular checkups can help you stop them before they get worse. Make an appointment online with a Las Vegas dentist or give us a call today.