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Do I Need to See the Dentist Every 6 Months?

Masked Dentist with tools looking at you about to clean your teeth

Your oral health is more important than you think. What happens in our mouths informs us about our overall health. Poor oral hygiene can actually lead to a list of other health problems. Our mouths are full of bacteria, most of it good & some types help prevent disease by killing the harmful bacteria. But, without proper oral hygiene habits, bacteria can overrun our mouths.

The average healthy adult brushing regularly has anywhere from 1,000 to 100,000 types of bacteria living on their teeth. If you don’t brush regularly the bacteria skyrockets from 100 million to 1 billion.

These bacteria can seriously damage your teeth by causing tooth decay and gum disease, which studies have linked to serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, and preterm labour. Brushing and flossing regularly are both important, but so is visiting your dentist. So, how often should you go? Ralhan’s family dental care in Burlington provides a unique, individualized approach to dentistry, which means that how often you visit your dentist will depend on your oral health.

 

How often should you visit the dentist?

Like most Canadians, you were probably raised with certain habits including brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily. These good oral habits can be traced back to the 1920s when print ads attributed social success to oral health and brushing your teeth was a socially desirable behaviour.

By the 1950s, most communities had added fluoride to their water supply as an easy and effective way of supplementing good oral hygiene. By and large, Canadians have a strong respect for their oral health and most of us have gotten into the habit of visiting our dentist twice a year.

Going to the dentist every six months is probably based on dental coverage offered by most employee insurance plans. However, the BBC reports that the frequency of visits to your dentist should be based on your personal oral needs. If you are low risk for oral health problems, come from a community with fluoride in the water supply and don’t have a lot of cavities you can probably visit your dentist less. However, if you have gum disease, are prone to cavities or have rapid tooth decay then you should go more often.

People who are at a higher risk of getting cavities and gum disease should talk to their dentist about frequency when determining treatment plans. Your dentist may recommend you visit every six months, depending on your health needs, insurance coverage and oral hygiene goals.

How often do I need X-Rays?

X-rays are certainly an important tool in maintaining healthy teeth. They allow dentists to see what’s going on between your teeth and in the bone and gums. In fact, X-rays can catch up to 80 percent of what a visual examine can miss. But should you get a full set of X-rays every time you visit the dentist? If you’re not at a high risk for decay than getting dental X-rays every 12 to 36 months is probably fine, however, the frequency should be increased to every 12 to 18 months if you’re at a high risk of decay.

For family dental care in Burlington contact us today. Dr. Ralhan’s team will meet with you and help you determine the right treatment plan and frequency for your unique oral hygiene needs.