Is going to the dentist every six months really necessary? According to a study conducted by Dental Health, 39% who do not frequently visit the dentist, would disagree.
The amount of time between visits to the dentist for a checkup should really be specific to each patient. Most patients are advised six months, whereas some may be advised more or less frequently, depending on unique oral health and risk levels. If, for example, you have an ongoing oral health problem, your dentist might suggest more frequent visits.
Why Visit the Dentist for a Checkup?
Dental checkups are crucial and should not be delayed or postponed. During your hygiene visit, your dentist will assess your teeth, check for any diseases and identify if treatment or monitoring is required.
After all, the majority of oral cancer cases are initially diagnosed by a dentist who spots the early signs. This, unfortunately, means that thousands of people are undiagnosed or have a late diagnosis if they fail to visit their dentist or keep delaying their appointment.
For patients with a healthy mouth and low risks, you may be told to visit for a checkup every six months, or even annually. Whereas those who are more at risk may be advised to visit for a checkup every few weeks.
For most patients, this will be six months, however, your dentist will advise on the safest amount of time to detect problems relating to your gums, teeth or oral health.
Some patients can visit their dentist once a year, while most of the population will need to visit more frequently. This is why six months is most commonly advised.
The Purpose of Dental Checkups
Routine dental exams are crucial. During a dental examination, we check that your teeth, gums and mouth are healthy. As mouth cancer affects around 8,300 people in the UK each year, it’s absolutely vital to visit for routine exams. Of course, like anything, early detection is vital.
Cleaning at home will only clean your mouth to a certain extent, which is why when you visit for a dental hygiene appointment, our hygienists will carry out a thorough clean to remove stains and plaque using scaling and polishing.
If you are suffering from health issues, this can often have a direct impact on your oral health that can cause some implications on your gums, teeth or mouth. Your dentist can advise you on the best possible care and recommend dental treatments, if necessary.
If you fail to regularly visit the dentist for a checkup, you may experience oral problems from time to time, including toothaches, tooth sensitivity, wisdom tooth infections and bleeding gums, to name just a few. Your dentist can, most of the time, prevent these problems by noticing the signs before they turn into problems.
An important aspect of a dental hygiene visit is for your dentist to show you how to look after your teeth. They will show you the best brushing techniques, tips on flossing, and other ways to keep your teeth free from plaque.
When Do You Need More Frequent Hygienist Visits?
If You Have Gum Disease
As 90% of adults in the UK have some form of gum disease, this is a core reason to regularly visit your hygienist as they will be able to carry out a diagnosis and advise you on suitable treatment. Patients with gum disease will need monitoring and treating more frequently and will usually need to see the hygienist every three months.
If You Have Bad Breath
Bad breath is a natural way of life and can most often be resolved quickly and easily. However, if your bad breath is caused by an underlying health issue, we will most likely need to see you more regularly to treat your bad breath.
If You Smoke
Smokers are more prone to getting oral infections, bad breath, stained teeth, shrinking gums, mouth sores and decreased senses of taste and smell. These problems are a cause of concern for dentists, which is why if you are a regular smoker, we will ask you to visit more frequently unless there are no causes for concern. We can also provide help and advice on quitting smoking.
If You Are Pregnant
It’s more important than ever to pay close attention to your dental health during pregnancy, with hormonal changes taking place which can affect your oral health. It’s extremely common for pregnant women to experience problems with their oral health, with many pregnant women suffering from red, inflamed and bleeding gums. You should visit more frequently during pregnancy and consult your dentist if you are experiencing any dental problems.
Dental Hygiene at Hermes London Dental Clinic
Ultimately, your dentist will decide how often you should be visiting for a dental hygiene appointment. If you are suffering from any of the above issues, we will most likely request to see you more frequently. Once we are happy with the results, we will advise you on whether we would like to see you every six or 12 months.
If you’d like to find out more about our dental hygiene visits or if you have questions regarding problems with your oral health, we would be more than happy to offer you advice.