If you maintain good oral hygiene habits by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once daily, you may wonder if you still need routine visits. While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to how often you should go to the dentist, visiting the dentist twice a year for dental checkups and cleanings is perfect for most people.   

What is a Dental Checkup?  

Many dental issues present without pain or other symptoms until they are more advanced and expensive to treat. That’s why regular appointments are important, even if you think you have healthy teeth.

During your regular checkup, Dr. McMillan will thoroughly examine your mouth, teeth, and gums for any signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues like oral cancer. Dr. McMillan will diagnose any problems found and explain any treatment recommendations.  

He will also ask you questions about your overall health and any dental issues you may have had since your last appointment. Lastly, we will answer any questions you might have. 

What is a Dental Cleaning?  

While at-home brushing and flossing help slow down plaque accumulation, it cannot prevent it completely, and you still need a deeper, more thorough cleaning that only a dentist can provide. That’s because the long-term accumulation of plaque will result in tartar which causes cavities, gingivitis, periodontal disease, and eventually tooth loss.   

During a dental cleaning, a hygienist uses special tools like scalers to remove dental plaque and tartar accumulated on the teeth, around your gum line, and between teeth. Next, we will use a high-powered electric brush with gritty toothpaste to deep clean your teeth and remove any residual plaque and tartar. We will also expertly floss your teeth to remove any excess plaque or toothpaste from earlier in the cleaning process, then rinse your mouth to remove any debris.  

Why Would I Need to See a Dentist More Than Twice a Year?  

While twice-yearly dental visits are ideal for the average person, certain factors can increase the necessity for more frequent visits. Patients diagnosed with periodontal disease (gum disease) often need to visit the dentist on a more regular basis. That’s because treatment for gum disease usually takes a few months, and your dentist will need to keep track of the disease to ensure that it is indeed improving.   

Also, some people with a greater risk of dental disease and other health conditions such as smokers, pregnant women, diabetics, people with gum disease, those with a weak immune system, and people with a higher risk of gum disease, cavities or plaque build-up may need to go more frequently – often every three months or more.  

You may also visit the dentist more than twice a year if you need dental treatments such as root canals, teeth removal, or dental implants. For example, you shouldn’t wait until your next appointment rolls around if you notice a change in your gums or teeth, especially if there’s pain or swelling.  

Schedule Your Appointment Today!  

Regular dental appointments will help keep your mouth healthy and cavity and gum disease-free by managing plaque build-up, removing tartar, and detecting and treating any oral concerns before they further develop. If you live in Salem, NH, and it’s been a while since your last dental appointment, contact us today to schedule your appointment. Dr. McMillan will examine you and determine the ideal dental visitation schedule based on your oral health.