If you are like most people these days, there seems to be too many things on your to-do list and just not enough hours in the day to accomplish it all. One of the easiest things to push aside because you get too busy is visiting the dentist. After all, you might think that you do not need to go see the dentist all that often, especially if you are not having any issues with your mouth, teeth and gums.
So How Often Should You Be Sitting in That Dental Chair?
The answer to the burning question of how often you really need to see the dentist is like so many other questions when it comes to health in that there is not a generic answer that fits everyone’s situation. Rather, the correct answer has more to do with the health of your body than it does with an arbitrary time table.
Start When Children are Young
Many dentists recommend bringing a young child in to the dental office at about the age of three or four. This is assuming, of course, that the child has yet to have any dental issues. If he or she has been found to have decay due to drinking from a bottle for an extended amount of time, a dentist should be consulted as soon as possible. For children that have healthy teeth, though, that first visit is simply to familiarize them with the tools that a dentist office uses such as the chair and mirror. This visit also helps them realize that though a dentist is similar to a doctor, there are important differences.
Watch for Decay with the Permanent Teeth
The time when a child’s permanent teeth first appear is when they are particularly susceptible to decay. For many children, those years when it pays to be particularly vigilant about dental care are between the ages of six and eight. Seeing the dentist at least two times a year will help keep that professional abreast of any issues that might develop and provide the necessary treatment to halt it.
Recommendations for Adults
As you age, your dentist is able to develop a plan that takes advantage of his or her professional knowledge and apply it to what has been occurring with your teeth thus far. So patients who have a history of gum disease and other troublesome occurrences that could lead to tooth decay and eventual loss will likely need to see their dental professional even more often that just twice each year. Your dentist might recommend that you come in every three or four months. Conversely, if your dentist sees a steady pattern that includes strong teeth without a history of decay or gum disease, it might be recommended that you simply return every six to nine months unless a problem comes up.
While there are no rules set in stone as far as when you must see your dentist, you should always call that medical professional as soon as there is a problem with your mouth. Pain, odors and/or redness should not be ignored as they can quickly escalate into more serious issues if not seen promptly.