For most patients, your dentist will likely recommend that you come and visit them at least twice a year in order to ensure your teeth and gums remain happy and healthy. This is because most dental conditions are best resolved if they are caught early and treated before they can develop. If left untreated over long period time, a small issue can quickly develop into a much more serious and complicated affair.
However, every mouth is unique and what works for one patient may not be sufficient for another. The guideline of dental checkups every six months is set by the Canadian Dental Association based on the healthiest of patients: young, healthy patients who have never had gum disease and do not smoke. Patients with less than perfect oral health, however, may want to consider booking appointments a little more often.
If your dentist has recommended to you that you should consider visiting more often than every half-year, it may be because you are a likely candidate for gum disease due to other medical conditions.
If you have a history of gum disease, implants, or crowns, this is another reason your dentist may consider you at higher risk. Patients with active gum disease are asked to visit no less often than every four months in order to keep the infection out of the gums and ensure proper healing. Once they have recovered, they may be able to return to a six month schedule depending on the advice of their dentist.
Visiting your dentist more often than your insurance covers may seem like an unnecessary expense if you don’t have any current concerns, but consider this: regular professional cleanings are far less expensive and much less invasive than the treatments for conditions resulting from neglect. If you develop an oral health problem and do not notice it before your next checkup, it could end up costing you a lot more in pain, time, and money.
There are many factors that affect your risk for complications like gum disease:
- Your personal standard of oral care (how often you brush, floss or rinse)
- The presence of certain medical conditions such as diabetes
- Lifestyle choices such as smoking which affect how well your mouth can fight infection and disease
For those who are pregnant or diabetic, risk of gum disease is already higher and then should seriously consider more regular dental checkups in order to protect their dental health.