How Often Do I Need a Dental Checkup?

Getting a dental checkup every six months is just as important as brushing and flossing teeth. That has been the recommended schedule dentists tell their patients for decades, but there are new studies that indicate the frequency of dental checkups should be anywhere between 2 to 24 months depending on the person's dental health.

Why get a dental checkup every six months?

No one knows exactly how this standard was developed. Some claim it comes from the 18th century, while others say it is something modern dentists came up with when oral examinations conducted on military recruits suggested new guidelines were needed.

There is even a theory that toothpaste manufacturers created the standard to appease dentists who were losing patients as toothpaste became normalized.

What is known is that as of the mid-point of the last century, most people did not take proper care of their teeth. Back then, dentists were more focused on treating oral problems instead of preventing them. Nowadays, prevention is the focus of most dentist, and the biannual checkup schedule is perfect for that.

For most people, two visits to a dentist twice a year is what they need to keep their teeth healthy. Those with poor oral health, should see a dentist every three months or so, while those who have good oral health coupled with good dental hygiene can get away with seeing a dentist only once a year.

Issues that indicate a person should get a dental checkup more often than twice a year include:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking tobacco products
  • Cancer
  • Pregnancy

What goes on during a dental checkup

Dental checkups typically take no longer than a couple of hours, and they prevent a variety of dental issues. Here is what patients should expect during their appointment:

  • The dentist will perform a visual inspection looking for developing oral problems.
  • X-rays might be taken to evaluate the health of the internal structures in the person's mouth.
  • An oral cancer screen is often performed.
  • The patient's teeth are cleaned, removing tartar from them. This the yellow, calcified buildup that forms on teeth surfaces. It cannot be removed by brushing.
  • The patient's teeth will be flossed and polished.
  • The dentist might perform preventative treatments like dental sealants or fluoride treatments.
  • Dental issues detected can be fixed during the appointment. More serious conditions might require a second visit.
  • Cosmetic treatments like teeth whitening can be performed.

Getting all these things done regularly helps to maintain the patient's oral health. It spares them from having to make emergency trips to the dentist due to dental problems being left untreated for long periods of time.

Dental health is closely associated with overall health, so when a person's mouth is healthier, so is the rest of their body.

Due for a checkup?

If you cannot remember the last time you visited a dentist for a checkup, you are probably due. Do not wait until problems like toothaches develop before finally seeing a dentist. Visit our Albuquerque office today.

Request an appointment here: or call Family Choice Dental at (505) 634-5657 for an appointment in our Albuquerque office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.

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