We have always been told to go to the dentist twice a year for routine teeth cleaning. But in reality, this depends on the type of teeth you have and if you have any outstanding dental issues.
There are some people who naturally have great teeth (whether through extensive care or genetics), and they can get away with only seeing the dentist twice a year. But there are those who are susceptible to cavities or have gum disease; whether they don’t take care of their teeth or they’re predisposed to dental issues, these patients need to visit the dentist more frequently.
Check and see if you’re predisposed to any of these conditions that could require more dentist visits.
You Easily Build Plaque
Everyone builds plaque, and building plaque isn’t alarming. But some build plaque easier than others. While this still isn’t problematic, it just requires more care.
When you build plaque and don’t take measures to clean your teeth thoroughly, it can result in conditions such as gingivitis and gum disease. The best way to prevent this is by allowing the dentist to thoroughly and frequently clean your teeth.
You Have an Unhealthy Lifestyle
Everyone should know how vital it is to live a healthy lifestyle. But unhealthy habits can affect your oral health just like the rest of your body. Your diet is one of the main culprits. When sugar covers your teeth, the bacteria from plaque produce acids which attack your enamel. This is why eating sugary foods gives you cavities.
There are other foods that are bad for your health and your teeth. Potato chips and alcohol are perfect examples of food and drinks that can cause plaque and make you more prone to gum disease.
In addition to eating unhealthy food, smoking cigarettes is one of the worst things you can do for your oral health. Cigarettes don't only stain your teeth; they can cause a variety of tooth and gum problems. This includes smoking cigarettes and using chewing tobacco.
You Have Preexisting Dental Conditions
Even if they’re not severe, having preexisting dental conditions should put you as a candidate to visit the dentist several times a year. Moderate gingivitis and being prone to cavities is a good indicator that you need to visit the dentist more frequently than the average person.
Your Gums are Red and Bleeding
Do you notice your gums become sore (or red) and bleed when you floss or brush your teeth for an extended amount of time? When your gums bleed easily, this means there is a lot of bacteria in your mouth.
It’s inevitable your gums may bleed if you floss or brush too hard, or if the dentist uses sharp tools. This kind of bleeding is normal. So don’t be alarmed unless your gums are frequently bleeding.
You Have Gingivitis or Gum Disease
Even more severe than bleeding gums is gingivitis and gum disease. Gingivitis occurs when too much plaque builds up around your gums, and your gums form spaces between your teeth. Gum disease occurs when too much tartar (formed by hardened plaque) forms in these spaces, known as pockets, and can cause severe damage.
Gingivitis can easily be reversed, depending on the severity. Your dentist can easily spot gingivitis and can give you advice on maintenance and visits. But gum disease is much more difficult to treat and requires frequent visits to the dentist.
What if I am Prone to Cavities?
If you’re prone to cavities, you understand the struggle of finding out you have a cavity nearly after every dentist visit. You may not even have a bad diet and don’t indulge in sweets — some people are just prone to getting cavities. The ones who get them the worst are the ones who can feel a cavity with their tongue and know it is time to call an experienced dentist.
If you fit this description, you need to visit the dentist several times a year. Even if you don’t have a cavity, the dentist knows how to clean your teeth and give you advice that will help prevent cavities. And when you visit the dentist, they even offer a fluoride treatment. This will help protect your teeth from cavities.
It’s also a lot cheaper to have a few extra cleanings than to have a few extra cavity fillings.
You Have Tooth Sensitivity
Do you notice you don’t eat or drink certain foods and beverages because they make your teeth sensitive? Maybe you don't like crunchy or sticky food. Even cold air can cause your teeth to become sensitive, which can mean you are prone to having sensitive teeth.
Having sensitive teeth is pretty common and doesn’t have to be a concern, but this is something you have to discuss with your dentist. Your dentist can take a look and find out the cause of the sensitivity.
These issues don’t have to be severe. Bad habits such as teeth grinding and over whitening are common ways to make your teeth more sensitive. But teeth sensitivity can be a symptom of major issues such as gum disease.
If you notice you frequently have aching and sensitive teeth, this is a major sign that you need extra dentist visits.
Frequent toothaches don’t have to be a symptom of a serious condition. Your teeth could just be sensitive based on the foods you eat or if you have any bad habits such as chewing on ice or grinding your teeth.
But constant toothaches can be a symptom of a severe condition. These include tooth decay, an abscessed tooth, tooth fracture, damaged filling, and infected tooth or gums.
When you go to the dentist, let them know about any pain or discomfort. They will immediately try and find out what’s occurring with your teeth.
It’s Time to Call Your Dentist and Make an Appointment
You only have one set of teeth and gums your whole life. Whether your dental issues stem from genetics or lifestyle, you need to take measures to frequently visit the dentist when you experience severe symptoms and issues of oral concerns.
If you think you need to visit the dentist more frequently, our experienced Greenville dentist at Magnolia Dental can help treat a variety of oral concerns and problems.