How often should I really go to the dentist?
While not everyone is in agreement on exactly how frequently you should go to the dentist, one fact remains undisputed: going to the dentist regularly is very important for your oral health. It is recommend that you visit your dentist once every six months. However, this can vary if you have a history of gum disease or any other illnesses that would require more frequent visits. You may also need to go more often if you are undergoing orthodontic treatment, such as braces. Ultimately, visiting your dentist at least twice a year is the best way to ensure you’re taking all preventative measures to combat gum disease, tooth decay, and other illnesses.
What are some signs I need to go to the dentist?
Unfortunately, having symptoms isn’t always a foolproof indicator that you may need to see a dentist. For example, gum disease often goes unnoticed until the illness has progressed significantly. That said, while you should visit your dentist regularly regardless of your symptoms, there are a number of signs that prove you should definitely make an appointment:
- Tooth sensitivity to heat or cold
- Inflamed or bleeding gums, even when you brush or floss
- You have crowns, dental implants, dentures, or fillings
- Unhappiness with the appearance of your smile
- Halitosis (also known as bad breath) or a persistent bad taste in your mouth
- You are pregnant
- Pain or swelling in your mouth, neck, or face
- A family history of gum disease or tooth decay
- You suffer from diabetes, heart disease, eating disorders, or are HIV positive
- You are undergoing medical treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation.
- Dry mouth or mouth breathing in your sleep
- You smoke or use tobacco products
- Jaw pain or popping when chewing, opening/closing your mouth
- An uneven bite
Be sure to notify your dentist of any changes in your health upon your visit. They will be able to address any of the above symptoms and ensure you’re in good health.
What can I expect during my dental visit?
While individual treatments may vary, there are a few things that you can always expect when going into your dentist appointment. First, you will be asked about your medical history. Then, the dentist or hygienist will evaluate your overall health and oral hygiene. They will look for any risks of tooth decay, root decay, or gum disease, and decide whether or not your will need restorative treatments, such as crowns, fillings, bridgework, etc. You can also expect the dentist to check your jaw and bite for any issues, and they may use x-rays or other diagnostic tests if necessary. Finally, they will remove stains and deposits from the surfaces of your teeth, and show you the best techniques for managing your own oral health at home.
How can I keep my teeth in good health between check-ups?
Proper oral hygiene techniques are important for staying healthy and maintaining your smile. Here are a few easy things you can do to keep your mouth in good shape between visits:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes. Also try to brush after meals to remove food residue and bacteria.
- Floss daily. This is important for preventing cavities and gum disease.
- Use mouthwash. Mouthwash is a great way to get any food particles or bacteria that brushing and flossing may have missed.
- Avoid excess sugar. Sugar feeds harmful bacteria in your mouth that can lead to cavities.
- Quit smoking. Smoking lowers your immune system and makes it difficult for your mouth to keep healthy. It also increases the likelihood of getting gum disease.
Visiting your dentist every six months is a key component to maintaining your oral health. Call Caputo Dental today to schedule your appointment!