Dentists get it: Dental care, too many people, is synonymous with drills, metal tools, poking, prodding, pain, and loud noises.
Dr. Norman F. Coates at Dentistry Optimized in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota understands why you avoid the dentist and skip your cleanings. Dental anxiety is real, and it causes many patients to struggle with oral hygiene.
But you should know the consequences of skipping your dental check-ups — in this article, learn why you really do need to see the dentist twice a year (at a minimum!) and what might happen if you don’t.
Why do I need to go to the dentist twice a year?
Six months may not seem like a long time, but it’s plenty of time for oral health complications to develop, which is why you must stick to the ADA’s recommended bi-annual cadence. In fact, many dentists recommend you get your teeth cleaned every three or four months, depending on your oral health status.
In just six months, here are some things that can happen to your pearly whites:
- Staining from food and drink
- Plaque and tartar build-up
- Cavity development
- Damaged cavity fillings
- Development of gingivitis or periodontal disease
- Chipped, cracked, or broken teeth
- Teeth that get knocked loose
- Shifts in your bite
What happens if I skip my dental cleaning?
If you skip your bi-annual dental cleanings, your dentist won’t have the opportunity to screen you for oral health problems. During your bi-annual check-up, Dr. Coates checks for all of the above complications and more.
Each time you skip a check-up, you risk damage to your teeth and gums. Repeatedly skipping your dental cleanings can result in tooth decay, tooth death, gum disease, and more. You may find yourself in need of dental implants, a root canal, cavity fillings, or even dentures.
What are some signs I need to see the dentist more often?
As we mentioned earlier, sometimes every six months isn’t enough. Some people have a tough time maintaining good oral hygiene on their own. This can happen due to poor brushing technique, lack of brushing altogether, or a natural tendency to develop plaque and tartar more easily than the average person.
You may want to consider seeing your dentist more often if:
- Your teeth stain very easily
- You develop tough plaque or tartar quickly
- You have trouble flossing properly
- You have dental or orthodontic appliances that make cleaning your teeth difficult
- You tend to develop cavities easily
Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all way to go about oral hygiene — find out what works for you and stick to it.
To learn more about bi-annual dental cleanings, check out our dental cleaning FAQ page. To schedule your regular cleaning, call Dentistry Optimized today at 651-698-5543 or book your appointment online.