Exams and Consultations

Regular Dental Appointments

Keeping your teeth healthy with regular dental visits is important. When teeth start to have problems, they can have a significant impact on your life. But what are regular dental visits? How often are people supposed to go?

Catching a dental problem early may help reduce the amount of pain, difficulty, and cost to fix the problem. Dentists can also look for signs of oral cancers, and spot signs of other health conditions.

Dental Visits for Kids

Kids should get their first oral exam by their first birthday. The dentist will give you advice about how to care for your child’s baby teeth. As your child gets older, he or she should have dental checkups as often as the dentist advises. Most dentists recommend a dental visit every six months to help prevent cavities and other problems. Talk with your child’s dentist about the schedule that is best for your child.

Dental Visits for Adults

Your dentist can advise you how often you need to visit based on your oral and general health and your risk factors for tooth decay and gum disease. For example, an adult with good oral hygiene and no problems at checkups should come in twice a year. Someone with a lot of tartar or cavities may need to go more often.

You may need to see your dentist more often if:

  • You’re pregnant. Pregnancy hormones can cause an inflammation of the gums called gingivitis, requiring more frequent cleanings to maintain the health of your gums.
  • You smoke. Tobacco use is a risk factor for severe gum disease called periodontitis and for oral cancer.
  • You’re being treated for cancer. Treatment for cancer can cause oral health problems such as dry mouth and infection.
  • You have diabetes. People with diabetes have a higher risk of gum disease, fungal infections, and other oral problems
  • You have heart disease. Dental health is linked to heart health, and frequent dental cleanings may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • You’re HIV positive. HIV and its treatment put you at a higher risk of dental decay and infections.