How Often Should You Visit the Dentist? 

Most people are aware that regular dental checkups are important for oral health, but most of them admit to not going to the dentist as often as they would like. Others say that the reason they made their previous appointment was after experiencing pain or an accident. But why are dental visits important, and how often should you do so? This article aims to get into the gist of it.

The Importance of Regular Dental Checkups

(i) Catch Dental Issues Sooner

Some dental issues like tooth decay and gum disease are not always apparent in the initial stages, but a checkup with an experienced dentist can reveal them. It’s obvious that catching a problem earlier presents the opportunity to handle it before it worsens. When problems like cavities are not resolved fast, they can turn into bigger issues like loose teeth.

(ii) Keep the Teeth Healthy

Regular visits to the dentist such as can help keep your teeth in pristine condition. Deep cleaning is important for removing tartar or calculus, a plaque that builds over time and hardens.

(iii) Save Time and Money in the Long Haul

While dental visits are not cheap, particularly if you do not hold insurance, the money you’ll pay is far much less compared to what you will have to pay for root canals, filling and other procedures. Preventing such through a simple and short appointment will save you time and money in the long run.

How Often Should You Visit the Dentist?

For most people, it is a good rule of thumb to visit the dentist twice a year, but everyone has unique needs regarding their oral cavity. As such, it comes down to your habits, oral hygiene as well as individual medical conditions. That said, you may need fewer or more appointments compared to others. By consulting your dentist, they will tell you when they may want you to go for the next appointment. Some of the individuals who may be asked to go more frequently fall under the following categories.

Cancer Patients– Some cancer medications tend to dry out the mouth, leaving the victims at a higher risk of getting oral complications.

Pregnant women– Women undergo hormonal changes during pregnancy that may put them at greater risk of developing cavities and gum disease

Diabetic Individuals– Diabetes can contribute to dental issues like gum disease.

Smokers– The use of tobacco, particularly smoking, can lead to oral complications and even make it harder to heal following a dental procedure or surgery.

Heart Patients– Oral health is imperative in regard to heart disease prevention, as the bacteria in the oral cavity can make its way into the heart. Individuals with oral complications are at a higher risk of cardiovascular complications compared to those with healthy mouths. As such, dental checkups and cleanings are important to prevent this.

What Should You Expect During a Dental Checkup?

A typical dental checkup typically lasts an hour or less. During this appointment, your dentist and dental hygienist assess your oral health and provide recommendations for any necessary treatments and at-home hygiene practices. While each session is unique, you can generally expect the following:


If it’s time for X-rays, the dentist will capture them at the beginning of the appointment, allowing them an opportunity to review them before conducting a thorough examination of your mouth.

Dental Cleaning and Polishing

Dental cleaning comes with numerous advantages. Using scalers and other gentle dental tools, the dentist will effectively remove plaque and tartar from tooth surfaces and just below the gum line. Following this, your teeth will be polished using a paste, and the hygienist will meticulously floss between your teeth.

During the process, the practitioner might identify areas that require additional attention and provide guidance on proper tooth brushing and flossing techniques to enhance your oral care routine.

Screening for Oral Cancer

Prior to examining your teeth and gums, the dentist may conduct an initial oral cancer screening. This involves a thorough examination of your palate, tongue, throat, inner cheeks, and other areas within your oral cavity to identify any potential signs of cancer. Additionally, the dentist will palpate the exterior of your jaw and throat to check for any abnormalities.

Dentists often play a crucial role in the early detection and treatment of oral cancer, being the first line of defence. Regular dental checkups are essential for this reason, as dentists are well-positioned to identify potential issues before other healthcare professionals even notice them.

Detecting Cavities

Next, the practitioner will assess your teeth for any cracks, chips, decay and other issues that may need repair.

Gum Health Assessment

They will also check the state of your gums and look for indications of gingivitis (the initial stage of gum disease) or periodontitis (advanced stages). They will examine pockets around each tooth, assessing if the gums have receded due to the accumulation of bacteria and plaque beneath the gum line.


Dental checkups are extremely vital for not just your oral health but for your overall wellbeing. So, if you were wondering how often you should do it, consult your dentist, and they will advise the next necessary appointment.

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