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Why Go to See a Dentist Twice a Year

Feb 1 • 1 minute read

You get your car tuned up and rarely skip routine maintenance on your home. But there’s no reminder in your calendar to schedule your dental cleaning and exam every six months—and there should be! Why go to see a dentist twice a year?

Dental professionals have long recommended a teeth cleaning every six months. That’s the length of time it takes for an average person to produce enough tartar that will need to be scraped off by a dentist or dental hygienist. Tartar isn’t just an ugly buildup that catches stain and feels rough to the tongue. It can cause inflammation of the gums and eventually irreversible bone loss around the teeth.

It may be a good idea for some folks to see a dentist three or even four times a year. Examples include people who:

1. Have poor brushing habits.

2. Eat diets rich in sugary foods or drinks. Too much sugar can overpower saliva’s ability to create a neutral pH (basic/acidic balance), thus creating a more acidic environment where harmful bacteria can thrive.

3. Are aging, making them more prone to the damage bacteria can cause to teeth, gums and bones.

4. Take medications that cause the common side effect of dry mouth, which means there is less saliva, making it easier for bacteria to grow.

5. Have physical difficulties brushing and flossing due to crowded or overlapping teeth.

So, let’s say 18 months or two years have lapsed since your last cleaning. You may begin noticing tenderness or bleeding of the gums during brushing and flossing, a telltale sign of inflammation due to tartar buildup. A dull ache, increased sensitivity to hot or cold or the discoloration of a single tooth may be signs of more serious problems. If those occur, call the office right away to schedule an appointment. Unfortunately, tooth trouble isn’t like a headache—it doesn’t get better or go away on its own!

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