How Often Should You Visit Your Dentist?

Maintaining proper oral hygiene is vital to maintaining a healthy smile. Regular dental checkups are part of this process and can help keep you and your family’s dental health in excellent condition. However, you might be wondering how often you should see your dentist, even if you take good care of your teeth and gums at home.

Well, some dentists such as SmileHub recommend that adults should go for a dental check-up and cleaning every six months, while other clinics might recommend annual appointments. However, in most cases, your oral health, age, and risk factors will determine how often you need to get a check-up. People with a high risk of developing dental health issues may have to see a dentist every 3 to 6 months, while people with low risk should do well with annual checkups. 

In this guide, we’ll explore why it’s important to go for regular dental health checkups and provide recommendations on how frequently you should see your dentist. 

What happens during a dental checkup?

A dental checkup is essentially a thorough examination of your gums, teeth, and mouth. It allows the dentist to check for any signs of gum disease, tooth decay, or any other dental health problems. The dentist will also check the existing dental work you’ve done, such as implants, fillings, dentures, etc. 

Depending on the nature of the appointment, dental cleaning may be performed during the visit. If necessary, they will get rid of any tartar or plaque build-up from your teeth using special tools. Your hygienist will also polish your teeth to get rid of any surface stains to give your teeth a clean and shiny appearance. 

How Often Should You Visit the Dentist?

How often you should go for dental checkups will depend on several factors. Generally speaking, it’s recommended that adults visit the dentist at least once every 6 months. In case you have a history of oral health issues or are at a higher risk of developing them, your dentist may recommend more frequent visits. 

Children should also visit the dentist regularly. They should have their first dental appointment as soon as possible. This should help make sure that they get used to the dental environment early enough to help reduce dental anxiety and allow the dentist to catch any potential problems soon enough. 

Why are Regular Visits Important?

No matter the frequency of your dental visits, regular checkups are still crucial. Regularly having your oral health assessed allows your dentist to check your teeth, gums, and mouth for possible signs of oral health issues like gum disease, tooth decay, and even cavities. 

Whenever your dentist finds a problem, they will discuss treatment options with you, as well as the cost estimates. You could lower your risk of developing major dental problems and minimise dental health costs by maintaining good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist regularly. 

Your dentist will also consider your lifestyle, overall health, and genetic factors to assess your risk for dental illnesses or conditions. Certain risk factors such as smoking or using tobacco products, a diet rich in sugar or refined carbs, heavy alcohol use, poor oral habits, and lack of fluoride exposure can help determine your level of risk of dental disease. Your dentist can help you come up with a personalised oral health care plan and a visit schedule to help maintain a healthy smile. 

Additionally, cleaning and scaling treatments done during dental cleanings will often follow a checkup. These treatments will help get rid of any hardened plaque from your teeth, which should help prevent gum disease. Depending on their assessment of your oral health, your dentist will also offer advice on how to improve your oral hygiene at home. 

There are no specific guidelines for the ideal frequency of dental cleanings, but they are generally a great part of routine checkups and hygiene appointments. Your dentist will recommend a frequency that should work great for you. 

What Affects How Often You Should See a Dentist?

Most people who practise proper oral hygiene only need to see a dentist once or twice a year. However, the frequency will depend on your current oral health condition, general health status, individual oral hygiene habits, as well as the risk of developing oral health problems. The following are the main factors that influence how often you should visit a dentist. 


As you get older, your teeth and gums become more vulnerable to developing issues. Older adults are more likely to develop tooth decay and gum disease, which means that they will need to visit their dentist more regularly. 

Oral health history

In case you have a history of oral health issues, such as gum disease or cavities, your dentist might recommend more frequent visits. Plus, if you’ve had dental work done in the past, such as crowns or fillings, you might need regular checkups to make sure that the treatment is holding up. 

General health and wellbeing

Some health conditions like diabetes may increase your risk of developing dental issues. Some cancer medications could dry out your mouth and put you at a higher risk of oral health issues. Your dentist may recommend more frequent visits if you have an illness that affects your dental health. 

What If You Skip Regular Dental Checkups?

Well, the whole point of regular dental visits and cleanings is all about preventative care. Treating oral problems during the early stages is a lot less costly and will require less time in your dental appointments compared to only seeing a dentist when you’re in pain. 

Without regular checkups, small issues will ultimately become more severe and require more invasive treatments. For instance, a tiny cavity that could have been treated with a simple filling could turn into a larger cavity that requires an extraction or a root canal procedure. 

In closing

Now that you know how often you should see your dentist, be sure to check if you’re overdue for a checkup. If you’re unsure, assume that if you have not visited a dentist for more than 12 months, you are overdue for a full dental health checkup and teeth cleaning.

Mehedi Hasan

Mehedi Hasan is an enthusiastic health blogger and the founder member of WOMS. He likes to share his thoughts to make people inspired about their fitness. He is an experienced writer and author on highly authoritative health blogs.

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