How Often Should You Visit the Dental Office? A Guide for All Ages!

By Date posted: Last updated: February 3, 2023
how often should you go to the dentist

We often talk about the need for regular dental checkups as this ensures not just your oral health but also your overall health. However, how often should you go to the dentist?

The thumb rule is to see a dentist every 6 months. Of course, if you are facing any specific dental issue, your dentist will fix your schedule depending on your bespoke condition.

Who should visit dental office more often?

The following categories of people, who have a higher risk of dental disease, may be required to see a dentist sooner than 6 months. These include:

  • Pregnant Women
  • Diabetics
  • Smokers
  • People who are suffering from gum disease
  • People who are prone to build up of plaque

What do dental checkups every 6-month entail?

1. Regular Exams

First things first, a six-monthly regular dental exam will ensure that your teeth are healthy. Importantly, they will help identify & address issues before they become critical. There are issues you are not experiencing symptoms for and can be addressed in the bud. Importantly, dental exams also help screen for issues like oral cancer, which can be cured if detected in the initial stages.

Overall, as they say, prevention is far better than cure; this is exactly what these exams help with.

2. Teeth Cleaning

The importance of regular teeth cleaning is immense. Of course, they help address tooth stains and give you a confident smile. Other than that, there could be an accumulation of plaque on your teeth. That it looks unsightly. More importantly if plaque left untreated turns into tartar. These are breeding spaces for bacteria and can also lead to tooth decay, gum disease as also bone loss in extreme conditions. Besides if the bacteria enter the bloodstream, it can lead to several issues including but not limited to strokes. Periodic teeth cleaning involves more than aesthetics.

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3. Oral treatment in case of health issues

If you have any health issues, it is important to visit the dentist to know if the health issue has any oral implication. If so, the dentist will be in the best position to advise you of any oral treatments that may be necessary.

How often should child visit dentist?

Besides the above factors, with growing children, the importance of regular dental checkups cannot be overstated. In fact, the first visit to the dentist should be within 6 months of the first tooth erupting. Regular dental visits will ensure that the dentist can check that the development of the teeth is healthy.

Research has shown that children who only visit a dentist when there is a problem are more likely to have dental issues than children who are taken for regular dental visits.

The importance of regular dental visits for children also stems from the fact that it will help develop the habit of dental checkups even as they transition into adulthood. Broadly, such children are less likely to avoid the dentist’s chair on account of any irrational fears.

How often should senior citizens visit dentist?

When it comes to older adults, regular check-ups are exceedingly important. This is on account of several reasons- the first that senior citizens are likely to have dentures. Additionally, they are prone to several health issues that could have an implication on oral health as well. Some of the common dental conditions they tend to suffer from include root decay, dry mouth, tooth loss, darkened teeth, thrush, and more. When these issues are caught early, they can be cured. However, if they progress, they may sometimes be hard to reverse or may need invasive measures.

What can you expect during Dental visits?

A regular dental visit will entail the following:

  • The dentist will undertake a thorough examination of your mouth, teeth, and gums.
  • They will ask you about any oral health and general health issues you may be facing.
  • Ask you about any use of tobacco or alcohol.
  • Advise you about how to improve your oral hygiene.
  • If there are any issues that the dentist notices, he will advise the right treatment.
  • Also, undertake to screen for oral cancer. Should there be any noticeable issues, you may be referred to a specialist. Some of the signs and symptoms of oral cancer include:
    • Mouth sore that does not heal
    • Patch inside the mouth
    • Lump
    • Difficulty swallowing
    • Bleeding
    • Chronic sore throat
    • Changes in bite
    • Weight loss
    • Pain in mouth, and more.

Rest assured that oral cancer screening as undertaken by the dentist is not an invasive procedure. The dentist will examine areas inside and outside your mouth.

What to do between dental visits?

While regular dental visits are important, what is even more important is the oral hygiene that you follow between dental visits. These include:

  • Brushing your teeth twice daily.
  • Using Fluoride Toothpaste.
  • Flossing at least once a day.
  • Using mouthwash.
  • Keeping your tongue clean.

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To sum up

It is important that regular dental checkups be given the importance they deserve. The usual tendency is to head to a dentist only when you are dealing with a dental issue.

However, it is important to remember that these issues & any others that can be snowballed and avoided with regular dental checkups. Pain or any other symptom is not a predictable indicator of a health issue. In other words, you may develop a condition & have no pain associated with it. It is important therefore not to assume that just because something does not hurt, it is not a problem.

It is important that other than answering the questions that the dentist asks, to the best of your knowledge, you also ask any questions that you may have. Remember that no question is too insignificant.

Don’t think too much just schedule a dental appointment with Dr. Sharda Patel to make aware of your oral condition with regular dental checkups. Dr. Sharda Patel is a Pleasanton-based dentist who provides various dental services including regular dental checkups, teeth cleaning, and advanced pediatric dentistry. Schedule an appointment now or mail us at