How Often Should You Go to the Dentist?

Reviewed by Dr. Matthew Young, DDS

Which teeth do you need to brush? The ones you want to keep!” To have a beautiful smile and healthy teeth, regular visits to the dentist are essential. While many people dread going to the dentist, it is a necessary and important part of maintaining good oral health.

In this blog, we will discuss the importance of regular dental exams and how often you should go to the dentist to keep your teeth and smile in top shape.

Key Takeaway

Regular dental appointments are not just about avoiding pain or cosmetic improvements. They’re an essential part of your overall healthcare routine. Prioritizing these visits is an investment in your long-term health and well-being.

Table of Contents

The Basics of Regular Dental Visits

You should visit your dentist for dental exams and cleanings twice a year. These visits are called ‘preventative dentistry’. They help to identify issues early and prevent oral health issues like gum disease, tooth decay, and even oral cancer.

Your dentist will examine your teeth, gums, and mouth, checking for any signs of potential problems. Catching issues early on can save you from more extensive and expensive treatments in the future.

Regular cleanings are also important because they remove plaque build-up that cannot be removed by brushing and flossing alone.

What Happens During a Dental Exam?

During your dental exam, the dentist will perform a thorough examination of your teeth and gums. It includes:

  • Oral cancer screening: Your dentist will check for signs of oral cancer.
  • Examining for cavities: Small tools may be used to check for cavities or tooth decay.
  • Gum health evaluation: Your dentist will check for signs of inflammation, bleeding, or puffiness. They will measure the depth of the pockets between the teeth. Pocket depth helps to identify the early signs of gum disease. 
  • Cleaning: Removing plaque and tartar to prevent cavities and diseases.
  • X-rays: Depending on your oral health status, x-rays might be taken to identify hidden issues.

Who Needs to Visit More Often?

While twice a year is a good rule of thumb for many, some people may need to visit the dentist more often. Such individuals may include:

  • Children: Young children should have their first dental visit at the age of 1 to make sure their jaw and teeth are developing in the way they should.
  • Pregnant women: Hormonal changes during pregnancy can increase the risk of gum disease and other oral health issues.
  • Smokers: Tobacco use increases the risk of gum disease and oral cancer. 
  • People with chronic conditions: Diabetes can increase your risk of oral health issues such as dry mouth, gum disease, and tooth decay. 

What Can You Do To Keep Dental Appointments to a Minimum?

The best way to keep dental treatment to a minimum is by practicing good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, and use mouthwash to kill bad bacteria.

Equally important is being mindful of your diet; consuming foods high in sugar and acidity can increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Incorporating foods rich in calcium and vitamins can help strengthen teeth and gums. 

Prevention of dental issues starts at home, and a consistent oral care routine can significantly minimize the need for dental interventions.

Prioritize Your Oral Health With Post Street Dental Group

At Post Street Dental Group, our experienced dentists are dedicated to providing exceptional dental care. Modern technology and a gentle approach will make your regular check-ups a breeze.

If you are searching for a ‘dental exam in San Francisco’ or a ‘dentist near me,’ we can help. Schedule an appointment with Post Street Dental Group today. Call (415) 986-4534 or complete the online booking form.

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How much is a dental exam and x-rays without insurance?

The cost can vary widely depending on where you live and the dentist you visit. However, many dental practices offer new patient specials or payment plans.

What is a dental exam?

It includes a comprehensive check of your teeth, gums, and mouth to identify any potential issues.

How long does a dental exam take?

Typically, a dental exam will take about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on if x-rays are needed.

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