How often do you visit your dentist? According to the American Dental Association (ADA), just 52.3 percent of adults reported that they had visited their dentist every six months for the past few years. An additional 15.4 percent reported visiting their dentist annually, and 11.0 percent say they only see a dentist once every two to three years. While many people find visiting the dentist to be a chore, your regular dental check-up is more important than you might think.
Visiting your dentist at least every six months can have countless benefits for both your oral health and general health. Learn more about why six-month check-ups are crucial.
What to Expect When You Visit Your Dentist
Routine dental visits accomplish several aspects of your oral health. First, regular visits help your dentist gain a better understanding of your health and what types of dental problems you tend to deal with on an ongoing basis. Medical questionnaires are a common component of six-month check-ups, especially for new patients. Your six-month check-up is an excellent time to update your dentist about any changes to your health.
Next, you can expect a thorough exam and cleaning during your appointment. Your dentist or hygienist will inspect your teeth and mouth for signs of dental decay, gum disease, and other abnormalities of the face, mouth, and neck. Regular cleanings are required as brushing and flossing at home does not get rid of all plaque buildup. Dental cleanings can help keep teeth healthy and prevent painful problems like tooth decay and sensitivity due to enamel erosion.
Dental x-rays are also a common component of six-month dental visits. This process generally involves laying a protective lead apron over the chest and lap, and then taking x-rays of the mouth and teeth. Dental x-rays can help the dentist gain a more in-depth look at the teeth and identify small cavities before they become larger and more difficult to treat.
Importance of Seeing a Dentist Every Six Months
It can be tempting to skip a six-month dental check-up. However, this practice is not recommended. These visits promote better dental health and wellness and help prevent the need for more costly and painful dental procedures in the future. There are many incredible benefits of routine dental visits, including the following:
- Early detection of dental problems – When you visit your dentist every six months, you can catch dental problems early on and before they become costly and painful to resolve. Dentists are often able to spot the warning signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and even oral cancer before they become apparent to you.
- Prevent chronic bad breath – Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can have a dramatic impact on a person’s self-confidence. With help from an experienced dental team, you can prevent bad breath caused by an accumulation of odor-producing bacteria in the mouth.
- Sleep more soundly – There are many dental conditions that can negatively impact a person’s quality of sleep. Tooth sensitivity, painful cavities, and ongoing problems like grinding and clenching can make it difficult to get a good night’s rest. A dentist can help determine the underlying problem and may refer you to a sleep specialist to address disorders like sleep apnea.
- Avoid premature tooth loss – Without proper treatment, conditions like tooth decay and gum disease can lead to the premature loss of teeth. Your teeth are meant to last you a lifetime. Without them, you can suffer from discomfort, difficulty chewing, sunken face, and similar problems.
- Save time and money long-term – Dental care can be costly, especially if you have no insurance or a plan that does not fully cover services. With preventative care services like regular dental check-ups, you can avoid more costly treatments in the future.
Schedule Your Six-Month Check-Up
Visiting your dentist every six months for a routine exam and cleaning is important for your health and happiness. For more information about why you should visit a dentist every six months for a check-up or to schedule your next routine dental visit, reach out to the experienced dental team at Bonham Dental Arts in Largo, FL.