Actually, the six-month frequency for dental visits is a general guideline that works for most people. You should come in for checkups according to your dentist’s instructions. Some people may need to come more often, and others less.
But whatever your dentist recommends, there are very good reasons for making those regular checkups.
Cleanings to Improve Oral Health
The dental hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth to get them cleaner than you can do on your own. Even if you are a good, thorough brusher and flosser, small amounts of plaque can get left behind, especially around the gum line. This plaque is initially soft, but it hardens–technically it gets fossilized–into mineral deposits called tartar. If left alone, these hardened deposits can build up, which can irritate your gums, and can shelter bacteria from saliva and from brushing. This allows them to grow into larger colonies in the gums, contributing to gum disease.
Removing these mineral deposits will protect your gums, your teeth, and even your heart (gum disease is associated with elevated cardiovascular risk).
Not only that, but regular cleanings can help keep your teeth shiny and white.
When you see your dentist and hygienist, they will notice where you are getting excessive amounts of tartar deposits on your teeth, where you might be starting to get decay, and where you have staining. These are often signs that you’re not doing a good job cleaning certain parts of your teeth, and they can help you learn better brushing or flossing habits to get to some of the hard-to-clean areas. They may recommend other treatments, like mouthwash or a water flosser, or may suggest changing your toothbrush.
Dental problems are generally progressive in nature. Early detection means a less invasive treatment. Small demineralization spots may be treatable by changing your brushing habits, toothpaste, or adding a rinse. Small cavities may require a minor filling. As cavities get larger, you may have to get a dental crown. And if a cavity reaches your dental pulp, you may be in for a root canal. Pain from tooth decay may occur only in the last two stages, so by the time you know you have a problem, you may be looking at an expensive treatment.
Which would you rather be told: that you need to change your toothpaste or that you need a root canal?
A Personal Relationship with Your Dentist
One complaint we often hear from people is that their doctors and their dentists don’t know or care about them personally. Our dentist, Dr. Dunayer, makes it a priority to know his patients personally, and this helps him give them more expert treatment and personalized recommendations.
But this kind of relationship depends on you, too. If you want to have and maintain a personal rapport with your dentist, it’s a lot easier to do if you’re making your regular appointments every six months, as opposed to coming in only once a year or less.
If you’re overdue for a dental appointment in Rockland County, please call (845) 627-7645 for an appointment at B&D Dental Excellence. We’re always happy to see you.