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How Often Should You Go To The Dentist?

October 12, 2022 | Blog

You may have heard before that the recommended number of visits you should make to the dentist is 1-2 times yearly. However, this suggestion is not one size fits all! Many genetic and lifestyle factors can alter the frequency at which you should visit.

This can sound pretty scary if you’re someone who suffers from anxiety when visiting the dentist. However, entrusting your dental needs with the right team can ease any pre-appointment jitters. At Gulf Coast Dental, we ensure our patients are comfortable while providing professional and attentive service.

Why Regular Visits Are Important For Oral Health

Unfortunately, regular brushing and flossing are not enough to bypass a checkup. Regardless of your hygiene practices, regular visits are crucial to your overall oral health as many dental issues are not visible or painful until they’re more advanced. Therefore, it’s better to be safe than sorry you didn’t go sooner!

When it comes to cavities and more serious problems like gum disease or oral cancers, many are unaware they’re suffering from such until a dentist spots it. Regular checkups allow you to catch these issues early on before they cause severe damage. For example, cases of oral cancer may be more manageable or easily treated with an early diagnosis.

Who Should Go To The Dentist More Often?

Although regular dentist appointments are necessary, certain groups of people are more prone to dental issues and require more frequent visits. Listed below are those groups:

  • Smokers
  • Diabetics
  • People with gum disease
  • People with a weak immune response
  • People who are prone to plaque build-up & cavities
  • People who suffer from dry mouth
  • Pregnant women
  • Older people

What To Expect When Getting A Dental Cleaning

Understanding the process of a routine checkup and cleaning can help relieve any nerves you may feel leading up to your appointment.

  1. The dental hygienist will perform a physical mouth exam using a small mirror. A visual scan around the teeth and gums can help our team identify potential concerns, such as gingivitis (inflamed gums).
  2. Utilizing the small mirror and a scaler tool, the hygienist will then begin scraping away at the plaque and tartar build-up around your teeth and gum line. For many patients, this is the most dreaded stage. Regular brushing and flossing are vital to helping reduce build-up around your teeth and decrease the length of this step.
  3. Next, the hygienist will brush your teeth using an electric brush and gritty toothpaste to ensure a deep clean. This stage acts as a second line of defense against any leftover plaque and tartar.
  4. After your teeth are scrubbed clean, it’s time to reach the in-between areas. During a professional flossing session, the hygienist can reach places that you’re not able to on your own. This step also allows our team to locate any potential trouble areas if you begin bleeding at the gums.
  5. The hygienist will then rinse your teeth and gums with water to flush out any loose debris left from all the scraping, brushing and flossing. In addition, they might offer a liquid fluoride rinse as well.
  6. Lastly, the hygienist will apply a fluoride gel or paste to protect against cavities. They will also “paint” your teeth with fluoride varnish. The varnish hardens when in contact with saliva, so yes, you may eat and drink immediately after your appointment.

This concludes the process of a general dental cleaning. However, if your dental hygienist or dentist detects any issues throughout your appointment, you may require additional exams and treatments afterward.

Contact Our Family Dental Practice

At Gulf Coast Dental, your local family dentist, we’re passionate about our patients and treat each as if they were one of our own. We’re here to answer any dentist questions and support all dental needs, ensuring your unique smile is taken care of — so what are you waiting for? Schedule an appointment today!

Why Choose Us?

Gulf Coast Dental has been Gulfport's preferred, professional dental service since 1969.

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