This question comes up often during a dental appointment. There is no one answer that fits all. Every patient is different. Your dentist or hygienist can advise you on how often you need to visit based on your oral and general health and your risk factors for tooth decay and gum disease.
For example, an adult with good oral hygiene and no problems at checkups may need to come in twice a year. Someone with a lot of tartar or cavities may need to come more often.
You may need to see your dentist more often if:
- Pregnant. Pregnancy hormones can cause an inflammation of the gums called gingivitis, and other problems.
- Smoker. Tobacco use is a risk factor for a severe gum disease called periodontitis and for oral cancer.
- Cancer. Treatment for cancer can cause oral health problems such as dry mouth and infection.
- Diabetes. People with diabetes have a higher risk of gum disease, fungal infections, and other oral problems.
- Heart Disease. Dental health is linked to heart health, and frequent dental cleanings may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.
The dentist or hygienist will give you advice about how to care for your child’s early teeth. Most dentists recommend a dental visit every six months to help prevent cavities and other problems. Talk with your child’s dentist about the schedule that is best for your child.
Along with regular checkups, please call your dentist if:
- You have tooth or gum pain that does not go away or gets worse
- Your gums are red, swollen, and bleed easily
- You have a sore in your mouth that does not heal
- A tooth becomes sensitive to hot, cold, or pressure
- You lose a filling
- You have dry mouth on a daily basis