How often should you visit the dentist?

Visits to the dentist on a regular basis are critical components of your oral hygiene routine. Here, dentist Hawthorn discusses the importance of dental checkups and cleanings.

Cleaning by a Professional

You may believe that brushing and flossing twice a day is sufficient to keep your teeth and gums clean, and thus avoid visiting the dentist frequently.

That fact is that regardless of how meticulously and carefully you brush and floss, plaque will accumulate over time and harden into tartar. As you are probably aware, this can result in tooth decay and gum disease.

Your dentist and dental hygienist have the tools and expertise necessary to thoroughly clean your teeth and keep them healthy.

The following are some of the instruments that your dentist will use during a cleaning:

Mirrors

Your dentist will examine the back surfaces of your teeth and the back of your mouth using small hand-held mirrors. Additionally, these mirrors reflect light, allowing your dentist to more easily see calculus (tartar) deposits.

Scalers

Scalers are metal-handled instruments used by your dentist or hygienist to scrape plaque and calculus from your teeth. Scalers come with two ends: a pointed end for cleaning above the gumline and a curved, blunt end for cleaning below the gum line without injuring the gums.

Polishers

After removing plaque and calculus, your dentist or hygienist will polish your teeth with a polishing tool and a moderately abrasive paste, resulting in the brightest and whitest appearance possible.

Taking Preventative Measures Against Oral Disease

Along with deep cleaning your teeth, your dentist and hygienist will conduct a thorough oral exam (which may include x-rays) to determine if you have any oral health problems or are at risk of developing them.

There are numerous issues that your dentist and hygienist will detect early on that you may miss, as they require a trained eye and x-rays to detect. Cavities, gingivitis, and even oral abnormalities such as tumours and cysts are all examples of these.

How frequently should I see a dentist?

Dentists recommend that the majority of people have a cleaning and checkup twice a year – more precisely, every six months.

However, dentists may recommend that you visit a dental clinic more frequently than that, depending on your specific dental health needs.

If you’re unsure how frequently you should have a cleaning and checkup, your dentist can make a recommendation.