Twice a Year Dental Visits: Is a One Size Fits All Advice Ideal?

Twice a Year Dental Visits: Is a One Size Fits All Advice Ideal?

You may have heard this dental advice for ages, and it is without surprise that you have been. This particular nugget of dental wisdom has been dispensed not only by dental professionals for decades, but also by sellers of dental hygiene products like toothpastes and toothbrushes. You will also notice that majority, if not all, HMOs allow for two dental visits a year, along with prophylaxis and fillings.

Since such advice has been around for decades, and with new dental techniques and technologies popping up to help keep your teeth protected for longer, is this kind of dental advice still relevant these days? Do dentists still tell people to visit them twice a year?

You may not realize this but, teeth these days are tougher than they were a few decades ago, and you can credit fluoridation for this. With people ingesting water that has been fluoridated when they were kids, giving them tougher and stronger teeth, they are less prone to the quick development of cavities. Aside from this, a lot of dental hygiene products have fluoride in them as well, and even foods have this tooth-strengthening mineral in them.

When a person ingests fluoride during their younger years, and their teeth become stronger because of this, cavities take longer to develop. Even when a person does not come in to visit a dentist twice a year, cavities that begin to form in the year that they have not been to a dental professional can still be treated with fillings effectively, since these are usually still pretty small. This does not mean however, that if you do have strong teeth due to fluoridation that you should not follow your dentist’s advice regarding the frequency of your visits.

Even while teeth are indeed benefiting from the fluoridation of water and dental hygiene products in the past years, not all teeth are still built the same. Some people, despite the added fluoride in water, toothpastes, mouthwashes and food, still find themselves suffering from cavities and gum problems more often than others. This is because each person is different, hence the need for a dental assessment and individual advice as to how often one should visit a dentist.

While the common instruction regarding two dental visits a year does still hold up for a number of people (and some people still follow this age-old recommendation even when they are told it is not needed), some people may actually need less or more, depending on their dental condition. Your dentist will tell you how many times you need to visit them, and this is done after they check your oral health. This particular piece of advice may even change year after year, depending on how well you take care of your teeth and gums between visits.

You will also notice that as you grow older, your dentist may require you to visit more often than before, since age does wreak some havoc on a person’s dental health, even when you do take good care of your teeth and gums. In order for you to know just how often you should have your teeth and gums checked, you should have your dentist tell you exactly what you need in terms of frequency of dental visits after each exam. This way, you can be sure that your teeth are cared for properly, as per your individual need.

Dr. Allan Hawryluk
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Dr. Allan Hawryluk

Allan Hawryluk Jr. is a Mississauga-based dentist who has built a reputation for comprehensive dental care. Born and raised in Port Credit, he returned after completing his dental residency in 2003 at the University of Colorado, Denver Health Sciences Center. He feels privileged to serve the community and is committed to maintaining our clinic standards set by his late father - Dr. Allan R. Hawryluk (Sr).