How Often Should You Get A Dental Exam?

June 27, 2020

How Often Should You Get A Dental Exam?
How Often Should You Get A Dental Exam?

How often you should go to the dentist has been debated by a lot of people over the years. This roots from the widely practiced hobby of just visiting the dentist only when a problem arises. It is difficult to adhere to a schedule that is more compliant with the recommendation of the professionals and experts alike. This is especially true for people who have become complacent in their practices because they only settle on doing strict oral hygiene so they forego going for a check-up as often as they should in the belief that they are already doing enough.


The danger of missing your dentist for a whole lot of months is that problems can already build up without you noticing it. It could be getting worse without any physical pain and it would only be known when the problem is already too deep the solution is already more aggressive than it initially would have been if addressed earlier. Not to mention, oral treatments are more expensive than just having a check-up that will just assess the problem and give you early cure and prevention. Avoid having regrets later on and listen to your dentist when they tell you how many times you should be visiting for an exam in a year.


Importance of a Regular Check-up

The mouth is something that is very much yours but you don't know much of it. It is something you only get to see the surface of but not mostly what's behind it. And though it seems to be a small part of the body, it is something that can cause great ache as toothaches can send the most stabbing kind of pain, worse than having a headache. No matter how careful or religious you think you are brushing and flossing, some problems can still happen and you wouldn't even know about it until there is already a growing pain. And with an intense sensation, sometimes the problem is already so aggravated that you might end up losing a tooth or two.


The importance of a dental exam is that it nips the problem in the bud and before it can go any further. Your dentist will already take care of it for you so you can continue with your home oral practices. Due to the different forms and shapes of the teeth, there can be parts that are missed from when you brush and there could be a lot of hidden spaces you wouldn't know of as it is not easy to look at every back of your tooth. Your dentist has the necessary tools to poke at every corner and see any hidden problem area. And it is not just oral health that dentists check, they check for your overall health too. A lot of sickness and diseases can have symptoms in the mouth and jaw area that finding them early can help better with the treatment. There are a lot of severe health problems that show initial symptoms in the mouth first and it includes diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and even lupus. If they find anything indicative of a problem, they will refer you to a dentist and it can help you in seeking early treatment.

How Often Should You Go for an Exam

How many times in a year should you visit your dentist? Is it enough to go there once a year or is every 3 months enough or too much? There are so many things we hear from people and they can all be partially correct. Going to the dentist once a year is practiced by a lot of people especially if they do it together with their annual health check-up. It is difficult to remember it more than that so they do it when it is time to go for the big event. The most ideal though is to see the dentist every 6 months, or twice a year. This is enough as this is how much time it takes for plaque and other build-ups to accumulate and start getting pesky and noticeable without being so grave that it would require thorough treatment.

Going twice a year is just the basics and this is assuming that the person is healthy and without any problems. The case is different for people who have existing dental conditions. Dentists will recommend a plan that would require additional visits so as not to aggravate the problem and monitor it more closely. When this happens, you should comply to avoid getting into further problems. To confront possible reasons for hindering your trip to your dentist, look for a clinic that is close to where you live, and can easily be accessible. For example, current statistics show that places in New Zealand with more available dental clinics have higher dental visitation percentage than areas with lesser clinics. You can also look for a clinic that is flexible so you can adjust your schedule to when it is most convenient for you. There are more features now offered by very modern dental clinics as mentioned by the professionals of Christchurch Boutique Dental, a dental clinic based in New Zealand. You can already book an appointment online and get in touch with them through social media. You would be able to get timely updates too so you can be reminded of when you should be going to your dentist. Best of all, you can already enjoy a comprehensive checkup and exam in price bundles so you get to save on the money while setting up an appointment easily.

Starting the Practice with Young Children

It is easy to maintain a practice when it is started young. This is why children, even at a tender age, should already be taught the importance of keeping great oral practices. You can start by introducing them to cleaning their mouth and brushing their teeth. Bringing them to the dentist will also build in them confidence and normalcy in seeing one. It has been a common thing for children in the past to shudder at the thought of going to a dentist because they only go there when a problem is already severe. They only get to experience the pain of treatment which is often identifiable with their aversion to injections and drills.


Dentists and other dental professionals are great in handling children but they can't shield them from the reality of painful and traumatizing dental treatments. If you bring your children to their dentists only for checkups instead, they are more likely to feel more positive feelings toward it. Early trips to the dentist can save them from suffering pains as they outgrow their baby teeth and make way for their permanent ones. They won't have to suffer from tooth decay because they get to be addressed and taken care of earlier. The best thing is, you can make it fun by giving rewards if their exam goes well. It has a rewarding feeling when dentists tell you that you have no plaque and you have a great set of teeth. It encourages children to keep up with their routines and avoid food that can be harmful to their teeth. Make them excited to see their teeth doctor by instilling in them the value as young as they are.

How to Prepare for Your Dental Exam

The great thing about a dental exam is that you can cheat to get better results. You do this by doing your best in cleaning your teeth, mouth, and tongue prior to your appointment. You wouldn't want your dentist poking into the remnants of your breakfast and smelling the scent of your last meal. As much as possible, you would want to impress your dentist even though they are still more likely to find a problem there.

It is still recommended to eat first before your schedule so your breath won't smell gassy during the exam. It might take longer too so it is better to go in there with a full stomach than a growling one. After eating, brush your teeth thoroughly. It is better to do your oral routine if you are coming from home because you have everything you need. If you are coming from school or work, bring your toothbrush and toothpaste with you and go for a quick one in the bathroom. Don't forget to floss properly to remove things that are stuck in between. Brush your teeth again and don't forget to include your tongue. Use a scraper or use the back of your brush to do this. Rinse well to remove everything and finish off with a mouthwash. The dentist is going to ask you to gargle with water once you are at the dental chair but this is part of the process and it's better if you are more prepared before doing this.

What Happens During a Dental Exam

A lot is going on from the moment your dentist asks you to open your mouth and poke on the insides of your teeth and gums. They evaluate your overall health and hygiene by doing a physical check-up to see any growth in any part of your mouth and jaw. They look into risks of the tooth and root decay as well as sights of gums and bone diseases. Recommendations are then made based on the evaluation if you need restoration, cleaning, or any other treatment. Dentists will also look into the alignment of your jaw and check for your bite for possible dental braces. They then clean your teeth to remove deposits and stains and teach you the proper way of cleaning and brushing your teeth since they understand your needs better. If they need to look into more details, they would recommend for you to get a dental x-ray or other diagnostic procedures. If all looks sound and well then you would just need to come back again in another 6 months without having to worry about anything teeth related.

Home Care and Maintenance

The recommended dental checkup of twice a year is only for people who have maintained optimal oral health. If you have poor dental hygiene then you might need to go more often than this because you are at risk of acquiring dental problems. To avoid this, practice what you have always been taught of brushing three times a day or every after a meal and flossing your teeth often. Avoid sugary foods because they are more likely to attract cavities and build up and try to consume teeth-staining foods less. A good diet is also a reflection of great oral health.


Calcium is best for the teeth in the long run so don't forget to drink your milk. As much as possible, do not use a toothpick to remove food stuck in your teeth. Avoid using your teeth as a tool by opening bottles and tearing things.

Useful Tools

Your brush is still the best thing you can use for your teeth. You can have the classic one or go for a motorized brush which cleans more thoroughly without having to do so much. Don't forget to clean the gum area too but be gentle with it and don't exert too much effort because it might bleed. Choose a toothpaste with fluoride and mints or gums with xylitol. Use floss generously and avoid using the same parts on different teeth. Have a tongue scraper for your tongue as well. You can gargle with a gentle mouthwash and avoid those stringy ones that have a strong taste. Do not attempt to remove any stain by yourself by scraping hard with hard objects because you can damage your teeth further. As soon as you feel any pain in your mouth that persists for days, go for an appointment immediately.

Your teeth are all you have for your entire life so do your best to care for them and maintain their health. Commit to going to your dentist and never skip an appointment because it is going to be beneficial in the long run. You will enjoy a more beautiful smile when you have great oral health from the inside out.


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