Many dental patients ask “How often do I need to go to the dentist?” Unfortunately, there isn’t always a clear-cut answer. Everyone’s oral health is different, and there are a lot of factors that go into how often you need professional care. Overall, the frequency of your dental care comes down to how long you want to keep your teeth. Your dentist can help you determine how often you need to come in. Below, we will discuss factors that can cause you to need to see the dentist more often.
Genetics and Going to the Dentist
While most factors that determine oral health are in your control, this one is not. Genetics can play a big role in one’s oral health. You may be genetically predisposed to gum disease or Oral Cancer. Additionally, there are certain aspects of your mouth’s microbiome that can be affected by your genes.
For example, some genes can reduce your body’s natural saliva production. Because saliva is vital for washing away some bacteria, this can impact your oral health. If your mouth is more susceptible to unhealthy bacteria, you may be at a higher risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Tooth and gum strength may also be affected by your genetics.
In-Home Oral Care
If you take good care of your teeth at home, you may not need as many trips to the dentist. Generally, you should be brushing your teeth at least twice a day, and flossing daily. When brushing, you should brush for 2 minutes, giving each tooth and your tongue enough time. While flossing, be sure to carefully go between each tooth to the gum.
If you are properly and effectively caring for your teeth at home, your dentist may not need to see you as often.
Your Diet and Oral Health
Your diet can greatly impact your mouth health, in a variety of ways. Firstly, coffee and tea can stain teeth, leading to yellow or brown shades. Sugar can stick to teeth and create an ample breeding ground for unhealthy bacteria. Because of this, a high-sugar diet can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Soda and sugary energy drinks can be a big contributor to this. A healthy diet can reduce the risk of bacteria buildup that causes tooth decay and gum disease. A healthy diet generally consists of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein sources, and low-fat/fat-free dairy foods. If you have an unhealthy diet, you should probably see a dentist more often.
Going to the Dentist When Smoking or Vaping
Overall, smoking and vaping are both detrimental to your health. But, they both can have a big impact on your oral health. Both create a lot of damage on a microbial level and can alter the oral microbiome drastically. By smoking or vaping, you are at greater risk for gum disease, tooth decay, and oral infections. Furthermore, they can contribute to oral cancer. If you smoke or vape, you should see a dentist more often.
Comorbidities and Oral Health
Your other health conditions may be linked to your oral hygiene and health. The three most common of these are Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, and Hypertension. Your oral health can be affected by these conditions, as well as the medications prescribed to combat them. Other conditions, or their treatments, that may affect your mouth health may include, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Psoriasis, and lung conditions. Additionally, poor oral health has been a notable contributing factor to developing cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and more. If you have any of the above conditions, you may need to see your dentist more often.
Talk with Your Dentist About Your Appointment Frequency
Overall, everyone’s bodies are unique, and your individual mouth health is what’s important. Your dentist can help you adjust the frequency of your dental appointments to meet your needs, budget, and insurance.
A Center for Dental Excellence does not provide medical or healthcare advice via articles. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for medical advice.
A Center for Dental Excellence provides expert dental care to the Brooklyn and Staten Island communities we serve. To schedule an appointment or consultation, contact us or call the office you would like to visit. (718) 232-8289 for Brooklyn, and (718) 980-9555 for Staten Island.