Y-E-S. If ever there was a perfect application for the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, this is it. As a matter of fact, the answer for most people should really be – at least twice a year.
Even though the concept of visiting the dentist twice a year was made popular fifty years ago in advertizing for toothpaste, the idea really underscores the modern approach to medicine: Prevention. What this translates into for your teeth is that problems like tooth decay, gum disease, unnoticed chipped teeth, and oral disease can be treated in a timely fashion before they develop into more significant problems. This is true because many dental problems are chronic and develop slowly over a fairly long period of time. By seeing the dentist on a 6 month interval, dental problems just don’t have time to develop into a big problem.
Another important reason to regularly see the dentist is that the mouth is the gateway to the whole body. Many people see their dentist more often than their primary care physician. The relationships between the mouth and such systemic diseases as diabetes, heart disease and preterm labor are well-established and many health conditions can be brought to the surface by a thorough dental exam and dentist’s review of the medical history.
It is important to understand that dental problems do not cause pain before they have escalated into a more serious, costly, and potentially painful issues. You absolutely should not wait until you have pain as an indicator to go to the dentist. The most sensible approach to dental health is prevention. This includes daily oral hygiene, good habits and at least twice a year visits to your dentist beginning before the age of one. It is never too early or too late to start!