Why do dentists recommend coming in every 6 months for check ups and cleanings?

There are many factors that go in to the recommended time frame between dental examinations and cleanings; the average person is seen at least on a 6 month recall schedule.

There are several reasons that a person should be seen by a dentist on a regular basis.

The first, is this allows for the dentist to regularly examine your mouth. Cavities and other issues with the teeth and gums can be detected at an early stage. Many people think that as long as nothing is hurting, there is no issue with their mouth, but in reality by the time something is painful there is often significant disease or even infection. In some cases treatments such as root canals, crowns or extractions could be required where a filling may have been sufficient at an earlier stage.

A second reason for regular visits is to help to ensure your gums remain healthy. Your hygienist is an expert at cleaning your teeth and gums, as well as at offering advise on home care. Many people are not aware that you can lose teeth to gum disease, and there is growing research on the relationship between periodontal (gum) disease and cardiovascular disease. The early detection of gum disease is crucial, and some people with gum disease require further interventions as well as more frequent care to help maintain their teeth.

Finally, regular dental care and examinations allow for earlier detection of oral diseases or other pathology such as oral cancer. This offers far better outcomes in the event that these are present.

Your dentist can examine your mouth and offer suggestions on the best recall schedule for your specific needs.

Please visit the public website of the B.C. Dental Association at www.yourdentalhealth.ca.