How Many Times a Year Should I Go to the Dentist?
The idea of “going to see the dentist” is a relatively recent development in history.
Dentistry has been around since about 7,000 BC, when the Indus Valley Civilization started drilling holes
in teeth to cure dental problems. However, what we know of as modern dentistry has only been around
since the 1800s, when dentists and dentist offices started to catch on and become more widespread.
(Before this, you usually went to see a barber to get a tooth pulled.)
As recently as World War II, Americans rarely saw a dentist, and when they did, it was usually for a
major toothache. Thankfully, we have progressed to the point that most people realize the importance
of brushing and flossing, and that seeing the dentist is a big part of good oral hygiene.
But how often should you see the dentist? About twice a year, is the answer most often recommended.
Prevention vs. Intervention
If you wait until your teeth are in serious pain before you see
the dentist, you’re doing yourself a great disservice. The best
approach to a healthy mouth is to do your best to prevent
things like gum disease and cavities before they become a
problem. This is why regular checkups are important, even if
you have good oral health.
Prior to WWII, most dentists focused on fixing big dental problems, rather than prevention. As young
men were drafted and screened for health issues, people became aware of wide-spread dental
problems in the American population.
The American Dental Association (AMA) decided that they should focus much more on prevention, and
so the twice-a-year recommendation for checkups and cleaning became the rule of thumb.
Things regular dental visits help prevent
There are many things a dentist can detect before you’d exhibit any symptoms. These include:
A dentist can also detect symptoms that point to other serious illnesses, such as:
Good oral health is vital to your body’s overall health, and so taking care of your teeth should be of
similar importance as taking care of your heart.
People who should see the dentist more often
Some people are at a higher risk of dental disease, and so they should see the dentist more often than
twice a year. This includes:
People who seem to get cavities often
People with gum disease
People with a weak immune system
Talk to your dentist
Most people will be just fine seeing the dentist twice a year. However, it’s really between you and your
dentist whether you need to visit more often than that.
It’s important to develop a relationship with your dentist, so you can decide together the best schedule
for checkups and cleanings. If you happen to be a smoker or a diabetic, then you may need to schedule
an appointment every three or four months, possibly more.
Contact Out of This World Dentistry in Cottonwood Heights to set your preventative appointment today,
and start your path toward a healthier smile!
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