How Often Should You Go To The Dentist?

Posted on Posted in General Oral Health

Good dental health is good overall health. Taking care of your teeth means more than merely Tooth Brushing and Flossing. For complete oral health care, it’s important to visit a dentist every 6 months for a regular dental checkup and professional cleaning.  Your dentist will examine your teeth and gums for signs of tooth decay, gingivitis, and other health problems.

What To Expect During A Routine Dental Checkup/ Visit?

On your first visit, your dentist will take a full health history. On follow-up visits, if your health status has changed, make sure to tell your dentist. Here’s what you can expect during most trips to the dentist.

  1. Full Dental Examination – dentist will perform a thorough examination of your teeth, gums and mouth, looking for signs of disease or other problems.
  2. Thorough Cleaning – dentist will scrape along and below the gum line to remove built-up plaque and tartar that can cause gum disease, tooth decay (caries), bad breath (halitosis) and other problems by doing a procedure called Scaling (Ultrasonic Scaling or Hand Scaling). Then your teeth will be polished.
  3. X-Rays – occasionally, dentist might need to take X-rays to diagnose problems otherwise unnoticed, such as damage to jawbones, impacted teeth, abscesses, cysts or tumors, and decay between the teeth.
  4. Preventive Treatments – If needed, dentist might put a Dental Sealant (Pit & Fissure Sealant) on the chewing surface of your back teeth to help prevent Tooth Decay/Caries. Dental Sealants keep food and bacteria from getting stuck in the rough chewing surfaces or grooves of your teeth, and they protect your teeth from plaque. Your dentist may also apply a Fluoride Solution directly to your teeth to help prevent tooth decay/ caries. Your dentist may recommend a series of fluoride applications.

What Happens After The Oral Check-up?

After the examination, the dentist will discuss any treatment recommendations, covering everything from tooth brushing techniques to your diet and nutrition, alcohol intake, and smoking.

If there are any complications, a return visit may be required for restoration work, such as a filling or dental crown. For more complex work, the dentist may need to refer you to a specialist such as an orthodontist, periodontist, oral surgeon or an endodontist.

Your dentist will decide how often they need to see you based on the condition of your mouth, teeth and gums. It could be as short as 3 months, but if you have no current problems, your dentist might not need to see you for up to 2 years. Always keep in mind that it is important to maintain a Good Oral Health through daily Tooth Brushing, Flossing, Tongue Cleaning and Mouth Rinsing.

Article written by,

Dr. Wong Kee Cheong (Tommy)
Dental Surgeon

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