Posted .

You’ve always heard that it is best to see your dentist twice a year. This is what the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and other dental associations recommend. Actually, many dentists today concur that the number of times a year you should see the dentist depends on the health of your mouth, but twice a year is a good rule to follow.

Here are some reasons why it is important to keep to a twice-yearly schedule for your dental visit:

Insurance companies pay for two wellness dental visits annually. It’s good to take advantage of these. X-rays are taken at one of these exams to determine the health of your teeth.
Twice a year is a good interval because cavities can grow fast and erode teeth, even with fluoride in the water and rinses. The dentist can spot cavities when they are still small, and remove them. Less frequent visits might mean more intensive treatment for cavity removal.
Your dentist can determine if your gums are showing signs of periodontal disease, or if there are any signs of oral cancer. Even though gum disease grows slowly, your dentist can treat it before you experience major setbacks like teeth falling out (if the bone that holds your teeth in place is damaged).
People with special risks may need to see the dentist even more often than twice a year because their dental needs are frequent. For example, smokers have a high rate of gum disease and can develop lumps or sores that can become cancerous. High blood pressure medications often cause dry mouth, which can increase the incidence of cavities or other periodontal diseases. Those with other diseases, such as diabetes and epilepsy, are prone to develop more cavities and gum disease, so they should be seen–at the very least—twice a year.
Those with plaque buildup need to see the dentist and dental hygienist at least twice a year for a cleaning to remove these deposits, so they don’t harden and turn into tartar, which can destroy the tooth enamel and gums if left untreated. Even if you don’t experience such buildup, a twice-a-year cleaning keeps your mouth clean. The hygienist will also make sure you are flossing and brushing regularly.

Be sure to see your dentist at least twice a year, to prevent dental work that could be very expensive later on. Schedule an appointment today, and keep your mouth in tip-top shape.