How Often Should You Go to The Dentist?
The standard amount of time that is recommended between dentist’s visits is six months. But where did this time frame originally come from? And is it still accurate?
Setting the Timeline for Dental Visits
Research shows that there are two prevailing theories concerning the origin. The first states that it was the medical records of recruits in the military that showed severe issues with their teeth. The prevailing dental philosophy at the time was fixing problems instead of preventing them. This was starting to become costly for the military, and they wanted an alternative. Dental health organizations at the time tried to establish a time frame for how often an average person should visit the dentist and made the best guess with twice a year.
The second theory concerning the origin of the twice a year benchmark is that it was actually Pepsodent toothpaste that used it as a marketing campaign promoting checkups and cleaning teeth. The theory states that the dental organizations at the time saw the ads promoting six-month visits and agreed with it instead of coming up with it on their own. Regardless, it was over fifty years ago that the philosophy of twice a year dentists’ visits was established.
Routine Dental Visits Today
All these years later, this mantra is still followed and is generally quite successful for most. There are a select few whose dental visits can stretch a bit further. This group has generally seen their dentist consistently for years and have been practicing preventive dentistry their whole life.
There is a larger group of people that should get a dental exam more frequently. Smokers, people with diabetes, pregnant women, and anyone that has had gum disease or a history of cavities should really consider getting a dental cleaning 3 or 4 times a year. The small expense put out for an additional cleaning will always be smaller than the cost of filling a cavity.