We all know we should do it, our parents used to remind us of it, but in the hectic, almost chaotic lifestyle of modern living sometimes has us thinking: ‘Why should I see a dentist every six months? Surely I can just wait until…’
So do we actually need to see a dentist twice a year? And why do we need to do that? As well-established dentists in Lancaster, we thought we’d take a look at the reasons behind the advice.
Why Six Months?
Where did that six-month figure come from? It’s the optimal time for a dentist to keep an eye on your teeth. A twice-yearly visit means any developments regarding your teeth and gums are under check. In fact, for those who do have oral hygiene issues, such as, say, gum disease, four months is the recommended. The longer you put off your visit, the worse any potential problems could be – and the more difficult it can be to fix.
What’s Even Happening?
Generally, there are two parts to the six-month visit to the dentist. The first part of your appointment is a standard check-up. This is gives your dentist the opportunity to give your teeth a thorough going-over. Your gums and the mouth will also be looked at, to see if anything is going wrong – plaque build-up, for instance, or signs of gingivitis and other gum diseases.
During your check-up, you may be asked by the dentist about more general lifestyle choices, such as whether or not you drink and smoke, and how often you brush your teeth and the technique used. You’ll also have the chance to discuss with your dentist any issues you may have had regarding your mouth, teeth and gums. Perfect!
What About the Second Part?
It’s not always necessary, but sometimes after a check-up, you may have your teeth professionally and rigorously cleaned. This isn’t quite the same as simply brushing your teeth for two minutes every morning and every evening. The dentist will use cutting-edge equipment to ensure that your mouth not only feels clean, but ensure it actually is clean, meaning you’ll have fantastic oral health.
During the cleaning, your dentist will do something that you can’t really do at home – remove the teeth’s tartar. Tartar is a major plaque build-up, where the plaque isn’t brushed away and has sufficiently hardened. Oh, and it’s chockfull of bacteria that’s intent on damaging your gums. Good job you’re sticking to the six-month visits to the dentist, right? Because they can get rid of the tartar by ‘scaling’, using a special tool.
After that, you’ll probably receive some polish for your teeth, which assists in removing stains from the surface of your gnashers. And then you’re ready for the flossing of your life. Flossing is incredibly important, because it clears out those slight gaps between the teeth.
Why’s This Important?
The six-month visits act as prevention, which, as the old adage has it, is better than cure. Let’s say you’ve not been to the dentist for a year or more, and the dentist spots the on-set of gum disease, or an infected filling. Well, those sorts of problems are going to be a whole lot harder to treat if this is your first visit in years.
There’s another reason why you should visit your dentist frequently. Going to the dentist just once is enough to send some folks into hysterics. That’s understandable; it can be a nerve-racking experience, particularly if you’re not there often. But the more you go, the easier it becomes. If you need to book your six-month appointment, you could always contact us on 01524 326 39. Our team will be delighted to chat about your visit.