Going to the dentist isn’t usually number one on most people’s most eagerly anticipated activities. But it’s necessary if you want healthy, functional teeth that last a lifetime.
But why do most dentists recommend that their patients see them two times per year? Couldn’t most people just go to the dentist once annually, or even just when they are experiencing tooth pain or other dental issues?
The key to oral health is preventing problems before they occur, not fixing them after they have already gotten so bad they hurt, bleed, or otherwise inconvenience you. Seeing your dentist twice per year allows them to look for problems before they can develop into something more serious. Catching a cavity early, for example, lets your dentist make a relatively simple, painless cure rather than something more costly and invasive, such as a crown or even an extraction.
Plus, twice per year dental visits allow the dental hygienist at your dentist’s office to clean your teeth professionally, as well as apply fluoride treatments if necessary. There are even therapies such as teeth whitening that can improve your smile so that it looks brighter and more attractive between visits.
After the dental hygienist treats your teeth, typically your dentist will conduct a dental inspection to look for any issues that need to be addressed. In addition to examining your dental x-rays, your dentist usually will physically inspect your teeth under bright light, often using magnification or even video imagery to get a deep view of your teeth and gums.
If you wait until you have a toothache before seeing your dentist, it may be too late to proactively prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other common oral health issues. But when you see your dentist every six months, your dentist can catch and treat issues before they develop into something more serious.