How often should I go to the dentist?

The standard recommendation is to visit your dentist twice a year for check-ups and cleanings. This frequency level works well for most people, although some people with gum disease, a genetic predisposition for plaque build-up or cavities, or a weakened immune system might need to visit the dentist more frequently for optimal care.

Also, keep in mind that certain life events — particularly those that cause stress or illness — might cause changes in the mouth or the development of an infection, and might make more frequent visits to the dentist necessary.  Ask your dentist what visitation schedule works best for your state of dental health.

The three biggest reasons that most strongly support the twice-yearly visitation schedule are:

  • So that your dentist can check for problems that you might not see or feel
  • To allow your dentist to find early signs of decay (decay doesn’t become visible or cause pain until it reaches more advanced stages.)
  • To treat any other oral health problems found (generally, the earlier a problem is found, the more manageable it is.)

If any oral health problems are identified during your examination, your dentist will make recommendations for the best next steps. These might include referral to another oral health care specialist, additional diagnostic tests, or advice to return for restoration work or additional oral health care.