There are two main scenarios for going to the dentist: when you want to or when you need to. The second option is less desirable, because, most times, it involves dental pain or discomfort. The ideal option is to have dental check-ups regularly, according to a custom plan built together with your doctor, depending on your needs. At Pacifica Dental, we create such plans for our patients.
Some people think that, in order to have healthy teeth, going to the dentist once a year will suffice. In our opinion, this is not usually enough for most people. As you well know, every person is unique, with specific body types, habits, and health conditions. These factors influence our oral health, which in turn impacts our general health.
For example, permanent teeth are very vulnerable to cavities as soon as they come in, so in children aged six to eight, dental check-ups are recommended at shorter intervals. In adolescence, the teeth are less vulnerable until the wisdom teeth appear, on average around twenty years old. As people age, the rate of dental decay, tooth loss, mouth infections, and gum disease increases. It is also common to find that our teeth will start to move. Our oral health, and hence our general health, varies at different stages of life.
We are aware that smoking is a habit that can lead to various health problems. Not only does it increase the likelihood of bad breath, canker sores and even cancer, but it also strengthens the bacteria in the mouth, making them more resistant. The mouth is already one of the dirtiest parts of the body, and cigarette smoke will encourage the growth of bacteria, which in turn can lead to cavities and gum disease. Smokers are recommended to visit the dentist more often than non-smokers.
Stomach conditions, such as acid reflux, can often have a negative impact on our oral health. If the acidity reaches our mouth, it results in not only bad breath but can also cause cavities at the base of the gums. These cavities can be easily treated if they are found at an early stage. If not discovered right away, they can reach the tooth root or even expand to neighboring teeth, possibly becoming painful and making the treatment process a bit more complicated.
Other factors, such as frequently drinking coffee, red wine or eating sweets, will influence how often your dentist recommends you schedule a visit. To maintain excellent oral hygiene, it is often suggested that patients have professional cleanings 3-4 times a year and follow a personalized hygiene plan.
In conclusion, exactly how long you wait between visits with your dentist depends on the assessment you and your doctor will make. Schedule an appointment with Pacifica Dental and start taking better care of your oral health!