Professional teeth cleaningYou’ve likely heard it all your life. First from your parents, then from your dentist.

For healthy teeth and gums you need to have your teeth professionally cleaned and examined every six months.

You don’t question this timeframe, but for some reason, it gets difficult to see your dentist on this timeframe. Life, after all keeps you busy. Even with the best intentions to go, you seem to blink and a year has gone by.

Have you ever wondered why six months?

The common six-month rule is said to started many years ago, some mentioning as early as the 1700s. The reason behind it is not well known. It was likely a recommendation that others liked and adopted as their own.

In recent years, however, this rule has been subject of much debate, claiming that only certain patients with additional health risk factors should see their dentist a few times a year. In essence, some claim that otherwise healthy patients can get by with only going to the dentist only one a year. There has been no clear evidence to support this claim, however.

With no evidence supporting either claim, the six-month rule continues to be a dominant opinion among dentists.

Whether you’re committed to going to the dentist every six months or you sneak by with an annual dental appointment, regular dental check-ups are important and necessary for healthy teeth and gums.

Why It’s Important to See a Dentist Regularly?

Our teeth are things that are important and essential for everyday life, like eating and speaking. Yet, we often take them for granted and tend to slack off on taking proper care for them.

Every day our teeth are exposed to many germs, bacteria and plaque that can easily destroy teeth and gums. With inadequate care, the plaque and germ buildup can lead to disease and infections over time. These tooth and gum diseases and infections can cause discomfort, pain and decrease their proper functioning. Putting off seeing a dentist can lead to even more severe oral health problems, tooth loss and more expensive and intensive dental work.

Patients are encouraged to see their dentist before they experience and symptoms in an effort to catch and prevent the progression of a dental health issue. Only an experienced dentist has the proper tools to thoroughly clean a patient’s teeth and they alone know what to look for and identify potential oral health problems.

It’s not to say patients need to avoid seeing the dentist should they experience a dental health issue. Dentists are trained on how to best treat dental ailments.

Regular, six-month dental visits can save you from future pain, inconvenience and potentially high dental costs. It is important in preventing destructive tooth and gum disease that can lead to tooth and bone loss.

A lot of plaque and germs can build up in six months. This is why patients need to make an effort to properly care for their teeth at home. It is recommended that patients brush their teeth for two minutes twice a day as well as floss daily. Using mouthwash and rinsing with water after eating are also encouraged to help patients keep their mouths clean throughout the day. The daily self-care will reduce the amount of germs and plaque that build up on teeth and along the gum lines.

Both at-home, self dental care as well as regular six-month dental check-ups are needed to best protect your teeth and gums and prevent debilitating disease.

If it has been over six months since your last dental appointment, you’re putting your dental health at risk. Brushing and flossing at home are not enough to protect your mouth. To avoid potentially devastating dental issues in the future, be sure to contact us at Lincoln Dental Associates today to schedule a dental cleaning and check-up.