Australian adults have a relatively poor track record when it comes to dental check-ups. Less than half of us manage at least one appointment a year, while our contemporaries in Canada are 30% more likely to visit every 12 months.
Rule of thumb in preventative dentistry recommends for healthy people to visit a dentist every 6 months, however, there is no universal standard. Your individual circumstances and health risk factors will determine how often your dentist recommends visiting, especially if they need to see you more regularly to treat ongoing issues.
Are Twice a Year Dental Check-Ups Necessary?
The reason 6-monthly visits became the rule of thumb is twofold. First, half-yearly dental check-ups allow your dentist to catch any serious issues before they become serious. And second, regular visits keep your teeth in good shape for longer by removing plaque and reinforcing tooth strength.
Catching problems early
Preventative dentistry is focussed on early identification and eradication of teeth and gum issues. It is our job as qualified dentists to assess your tooth and gum health for any early signs of decay.
It is easier, and much more comfortable for you, if we can catch emerging problems during a short check-up rather than addressing deep decay when the damage is no longer reversible.
Long-term teeth health
Above and beyond keeping a detailed record of your teeth, dentist check-ups normally include a scale and clean. These regular deep cleans keep your teeth and gums healthy for longer.
Professional scale and clean removes stubborn built-up plaque and bacteria.
The Importance of Preventative Dentistry
The Australian Government says an “unfavourable visiting pattern is where irregular dental visits are made, usually for a dental problem and without having a regular dental provider”. However, preventative dentistry is not just the realm of qualified dentists. There are also things you can do to safeguard your teeth between dental check-ups:
- Brush twice a day for two minutes at a time
- Floss every day
- Avoid substances that stain teeth (cigarettes, coffee, red wine)
- Eliminate sugary drinks and food to prevent decay
- Wear a mouthguard during contact sport
Remember: Late dental check-ups are better than no check-ups at all. Don’t stress if you are a few weeks overdue, simply book an appointment at your earliest convenience.
What Could Happen If You Avoid the Dentist?
Signs of oral health issues are not always obvious until the problem has become serious. At that stage, the pain becomes intense – and not just in your mouth but also for your wallet. Avoiding your regular dentist check-ups can lead to a long list of serious problems:
- Tooth decay requiring extraction or filling
- Gum disease that can spread to your body
- More involved treatments like root canals and extractions required
- Debilitating toothaches
- Higher out-of-pocket expense for treatments
- Disruption to your schedule
Here at Midland Dental Hub, we take every care to make your visit quick and comfortable. Our preventative dentistry techniques keep your whole family’s teeth in great shape. Schedule a dental check-up today or contact us to learn more about our services and pricing.