Going to the dentist can be an anxiety inducing experience, it’s hard to know exactly how often you should visit the dentist and what exactly you should have done. However regular dental visits not only effect your oral health but they also affect the rest of your body too.
The general rule of thumb for everyone aged toddler to adult is, you should visit the dentist twice a year, or once every six months for preventative care and cleaning. Regular dental visits prevent cavities and gingivitis. Of course, some people can get away with fewer visits and some people need more, this depends on genetics, personal hygiene, age and many other factors of an individual’s day to day life.
So, what are some of the reasons you might need to see the dentist more?
Smoking: smokers are up to four times more likely to develop gum disease and plaque build up than non smokers, smokers are also more likely to have tooth decay and to develop oral cancers than non smokers. Regular visits can prevent these issues and save you from large amounts of corrective dental work. Smokers should make sure to see their dentist at least every 6 months, more if they have any other markers for tooth decay and gum disease.
Pregnancy: Not only does pregnancy cause hormonal changes that can affect your teeth and gums, morning sickness can erode teeth and cause permanent damage in extreme cases. It’s important to see your dentist while pregnant to make sure your teeth are getting the extra care they need, gum disease can affect the fetus as well as the mother. It is recommended that pregnant women schedule at least one dental appointment during their pregnancy.
If you are immune-compromised in any way: Having a compromised immune system can lead to a greater risk of infection, small cavities, that might be able to wait in a healthy person may quickly abscess in a person with a compromised immune system, its especially important to have regular checkups and cleanings to prevent the spread of gum disease in the bodies of people who can’t fight it as well.
Diabetics: One of the many symptoms of diabetes is constricted capillaries, meaning blood flow isn’t properly getting to extremities, and small places like your gums. This can lead to accelerated tooth decay and gum disease. regular dental visits can prevent tooth-loss and gum disease. It is important to see your dentist at least every six months if you are diabetic.
If you are prone to plaque buildup and cavities: Some people are just prone to cavities and build up for no apparent reason. If you are one of these people you should be sure to visit your dentist regularly, it’s a simple preventative measure, that could literally save you thousands in dental bills.
Remember, the average dental cleaning in the Unites States costs around $75-$200. Fillings, root canals and other procedures can cost into the thousands. Even if you don’t have dental insurance, visiting the dentist regularly for preventive care is cost saving, time saving and it helps promote long term health.