How often to visit the dentist

  1. Monique

    Monique 4,699
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    In the past it was mandatory to visit the dentist every 6 months, in order to be covered by health care insurance. Nowadays it's not mandatory, but dentists still hold on to that interval (they earn money by doing so, of course).

    I'm wondering what the guidelines in other countries are, do you get multiple checkups in a year or only every two years or so? I just realized that I didn't go for four years (busy schedule, time flies) and went to the dentist who said my teeth and gums are in perfect condition (and she wished everyone would floss and use toothpicks). Still she recommends to come back in 6 months?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Ryan_m_b

    Staff: Mentor

    In the UK the recommended in 6 months. I wonder if there's anything behind that figure?
     
  4. cristo

    cristo 8,412
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    My dentist recommends every 12 months.
     
  5. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    In my experience, in the US, an annual checkup is customary. If someone is prone to cavities, then perhaps a more frequent visit is recommended.

    Apparently, the American Dental Association recommends visiting the dentist twice per year. In one survey I found, 62.5 % of those surveyed visit the dentist once a year, where 25% visit the dentist twice a year, and 12.5% visited more than twice per year.

    The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry indicates the 6 months is the most common interval for a dental visit.
    http://www.aapd.org/media/Policies_Guidelines/G_Periodicity.pdf
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  6. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    For kids it is usually 6 months. For adults, 6 or 12. I think I have unusually strong teeth because I went about 5 years between visits before going last year and had only one cavity.
     
  7. I think if you properly brush your teeth and rinse your mouth out with water after you eat something, you won't really need to go to the dentist. I haven't been in like 5 years. I used to go every 6 months, but every time I go, the dentist told me how amazing my teeth were. I think I remember hearing the word "immaculate". So since I clean my teeth properly, I just have no reason to go.
     
  8. lisab

    Staff: Mentor

    My own schedule: dentist checks every year, cleanings every 6 months.

    Regularly getting your teeth cleaned professionally is important! A hygienist doesn't have the training a dentist has, but he/she can screen for things like broken fillings - and of course, gum disease.

    I don't enjoy the time I spend getting cleanings but I do it every 6 months.

    Personal observation: yes dentists will sometimes try to sell you services. Some of my friends follow every recommendation their dentist says - and, frankly they tend to have nice teeth. Some take the "Meh, he's just trying to sell me stuff again" route, and they tend to have icky mouths. I try to take the middle road.
     
  9. Monique

    Monique 4,699
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    Yearly sounds good, I think I'll stick to that..

    I've never seen a hygienist, although I hear people talking about it all the time.. I aways wonder why they need a hygienist (haven't they cleaned themselves properly?).
     
  10. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    I'm a little unclear on that: in the US a hygeinist is just a dentist's nurse. You can't not see one: they are the ones who do most of the regular work!
     
  11. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    Even though i've done it, I wouldn't recommend it. It is tough to find problems on your own, so it is a good idea to let a pro have a look every now and then.
     
  12. turbo

    turbo 7,366
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    I haven't been to dentist in 10 years (at least). I floss regularly, brush whenever my teeth even a bit "filmy", and I don't drink sodas or eat sweets. I have a fondness for cheese (home-made versions of pizza and macaroni-and-cheese), but I brush promptly after such meals. So far, so good.

    Phosphoric acid and sugar in combination (soda, anyone?) are keeping dentists busy, IMO.
     
  13. Lisa!

    Lisa! 991
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    Every year!
    My dentis's told me to remove all my wisdom teeth otherwise he won't fill my cavities since it won't be effective that much. Do you think he's right?
     
  14. Monique

    Monique 4,699
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    What work? I can't remember my last cavity, it was before receiving dental braces about 20 years ago. The dentist filled it, the nurse is in charge of the suction device. Same for wisdom teeth extraction. About 10 years ago the dentist removed some tartar behind a permanent brace wire, that was before realizing the importance of floss.
     
  15. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    Cleaning (regardless of if you do a good job yourself, they always give you a cleaning), initial check to see if you have cavities, x-rays if you need them, fluoride treatment if you need it. Typically my check-ups are half an hour with the hygienist and 5 min with a dentist.
     
  16. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    It depends on the health of your gums and condition of teeth.

    My ex-husband always had issues with his gums, so went every six months for cleanings. I have the worlds heathiest gums, but the worst luck when it comes to biting into objects that shouldn't be there like bones in lunch meat and pits in pitted olives. So I go twice a year for chipped teeth.
     
  17. etudiant

    etudiant 922
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    It is always better to be slow to remove teeth, because they support each other. When one goes, the others shift unpredictably, left or right, forward or back. That may be no problem for the dentist, who will happily build a retainer for you, but it may not be your expectation.
     
  18. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    The cavities are in your wisdom teeth? Unless your wisdom teeth are causing serious problems, pain, impacted, there is absolutely no reason to remove them and not filling the cavities means the cavities may eventually cause problems such as the teeth breaking, infections, abscesses, etc...

    Get another dentist.
     
  19. Monique

    Monique 4,699
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    Ok, I guess here it goes the other way around: the dentist searches for cavities, makes x-rays and does a polishing if necessary and refers some to a hygienist.

    Lisa!, the wisdom teeth are prone to cavities because they are far back in the mouth and are thus harder to brush/clean. That's why dentists like to remove them before problems begin.
     
  20. Lisa!

    Lisa! 991
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    Thanks guys! I really appreciate your insights.:smile:
    I asked another dentist and he told me it's essential to remove hidden wisdom teeth.

    Poor me:uhh:


    Yeah but I don't think wisdom teeth support any other tooth!

    No, they're not! They're hidden in fact but he says that they cause problems for other teeth and it's better to remove them 1st and then fill the cavities.
    He's the best in my city.:wink:

    Yeah,you're right. You know my dentist says that they damage their adjacent teeth.
     
  21. Monique

    Monique 4,699
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