Good dental practice is one of the cornerstones of maintaining a healthy smile and strong teeth. However this goes a little beyond just brushing your teeth every day and avoiding sugary snacks. You should also really visit a dentist regularly to have your teeth checked. However the question arises as to how frequently you should visit a dentist, with some recommending as frequently as every three to four months, while many putting it off for as long as a couple of years.
The question is crucial because visiting the dentist does cost money for those unfortunate enough to be without a provided dental plan. After a while, those check-ups can quickly add up, and there’s always something very disappointing about spending money on something you feel you didn’t need.
On the other hand, if you leave the gap between dentist visits for too long, you could end up letting a potential cavity in your teeth worsen without it being spotted and treated. This will quickly become general tooth decay or gum disease, and potentially result in the loss of the tooth entirely.
This is probably worse than the simple expense of a quick check up or a filling.
Take Heed of Warning Signs
If you feel a growing need for you to visit a dentist, then you can trust your own mouth to give you an indication of it. You should pay attention to the signals your teeth and mouth give you. These are the
most basic ways of determining whether or not you should be looking at setting aside time for a visit. There are several signs to look out for in this regard:
• Prolonged or frequent toothache (lasts longer than 24 hours)
• Tooth sensitivity to sugar, or hot and cold food
• Halitosis (bad breath)
• Bleeding gums
• Pain when chewing or biting
All these can indicate a potential problem developing within your teeth that will need you to visit a dentist to check out. You should do this as soon as you have a free moment, and most dentists should be able to squeeze you in for an emergency check-up if you call at the moment you notice something off about your teeth.
It’s crucially important that you don’t put this off, as these sorts of aches and pains are indicative of a growing cavity, gum disease or general tooth decay. In such an instance, it’s essential that you’re
able to have the complaint treated and fixed while it’s still in the early stages. After a while, the damage may become too deeply rooted for the dentist to repair, necessitating the removal of the tooth.
Good Dental Practice
The problem with relying on those sorts of aches and pains, though, is that they only occur when a problem has already developed. Prevention is always preferable to a cure.
As a rule, you should try to visit your dentist regularly as opposed to when you think you may need their services, as to be forewarned about potential troubles with your teeth is to be forearmed. Your dentist can spot and point out any trouble spots growing on your teeth long before they develop seriously, allowing you to ramp up your dental hygiene enough for the damage to be repaired naturally as your teeth remineralize. In this case, we recommend that you schedule regular appointments with your dentist every four to six months.
If you’re still not certain, you could also ask your dentist for a recommended frequency as well, as they know your teeth better. If there is a notable problem, you’ll probably be asked to come visit the dentist again within as little as a month or two. Treatment may even be offered on the spot. Alternatively, they may say that your dental hygiene is good enough that you don’t need to come back for a while.
If you want to avoid visits to a dentist, then it’s important you develop good dental practice. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and always supplement this activity with regular flossing and mouthwash. You should also avoid foods high in sugar or acids, such as soda or chocolate. But remember that your dental team is an integral part of your ongoing oral care — if you haven’t been in for a while, it’s probably a good time to get an appointment on the books with a team like the folks at Premier Smile Center in Fort Lauderdale.
Christian Mills is a freelance writer and family man who contributes articles and advice on a variety of topics affecting the care of children and families, as well as the various challenges of owning a home.