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How Often Should You Visit the Dentist’s Office?

Maintaining pristine oral hygiene—and a smile bright enough to light up a room—is hard work. Even if you brush your teeth and floss twice daily, plaque and tartar can still find a way to take a pearly white smile and turn it into a pastel yellow grin. That’s why regular visits to the dental clinic should be part of everyone’s dental care routine.

Regular visits to the dentist’s office can help you fight off tooth decay and gum disease—and avoid dreaded dental procedures like root canals. Additionally, if you’ve found the right dentist, then they’ll be happy to see you sooner rather than later.

Oral hygiene habits such as teeth brushing, mouth rinsing and flossing are twice-daily activities but no one has the time to visit their dentist before their morning coffee and after their evening shower. So, those who want a healthy, pearlescent smile find themselves faced with the question, “How often should I visit the dentist?”

The answer is, it all depends.

Do I Really Need to Visit the Dentist Every 6 Months?

You’ve probably heard the old rule of thumb that you should make a dental visit once every six months. But, according to the Canadian Dental Association, approximately 75% of Canadians make a trip to the dentist’s office only once a year while more than 85% make the trip at least once every two years. So, do Canadians have really, really bad oral and dental health or is the “once every six months” rule only for the dentally insane?

Who Needs to Visit the Dentist More Regularly?

The truth is that, for most people, plopping themselves down in the dentist’s chair twice every year is sufficient to maintain their best smile. With that said, however, various health conditions can affect the frequency with which you need to open wide and say, “Ah.”

Pregnant Women

Pregnant women—or women who are taking certain kinds of oral contraceptives—may need to visit the dentist more regularly than the average person. Both pregnancy and oral contraceptives decrease the amount of blood flow to the gums which increases your chances of developing gum disease. According to the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), anywhere between 60% and 75% of pregnant women develop gingivitis. Frequent trips to the dentist’s office can prevent gingivitis from worsening.

Smokers

Similar to pregnancy and oral contraceptives, using tobacco products decreases the blood flow to your gums. Smokers are at significantly greater risk of developing significant gum disease, tooth decay and oral cancer than the average person. If you’re a smoker, your dentist will be on the lookout for any troubling signs and early detection is always the first step to recovery—and a healthy smile.

Diabetes and Heart Disease

Dentists have, for a long time, known about the curious link between heart disease and oral health. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), several studies have shown that poor oral health is correlated with an increased risk of stroke and heart attack though what causes the link is still a mystery. According to the CDC, those with diabetes have immune systems that are less capable of fending off oral infections, which increases their chances of developing gum disease and cavities. More frequent visits to the dentist for those suffering from diabetes and heart disease, aren’t just important for maintaining oral health but could potentially be life-saving.

People Who Want Whiter Smiles

Sometimes, there’s no better reason for an extra trip or two to the dental clinic apart from wanting a brighter smile. Restorative and cosmetic dentistry procedures and operations sometimes require follow-up appointments that your dentist will schedule with you. Similarly, simply stopping by for a teeth whitening procedure before a big photo-op is a good excuse to see your dentist a few extra times in the year.

Applewood Dental in Innisfil

Regardless of whether you decide to see the dentist once a year or once a month, at Applewood Dental, we’re always happy to have you. If you’re looking for dentists in Innisfil, Ontario, we are proud to offer the best family-friendly dental services this side of the Humber Valley. Learn about our team and book your next—of many annual—appointment with us today.