Have you ever had the question, "Do I really need to go to the dentist?"
Or, maybe you've asked, "Is it necessary to go to the dentist twice annually?"
Then there's the self-comforting, "Well my teeth and gums don't hurt."
If any of these questions sounds like you, we'd like to share with you why we and most dentists recommend you come back in 6 months. By the way, not everyone gets that same recommendation. If you have a higher chance of getting gum disease or tooth decay, then we'll usually recommend a shorter time period. Possibly even 3 months!
The History of the 6 Month Dental Recall
The story goes that back in the early 1900's there was an advertising guru names Claude Hopkins that branded the Pepsodent phrase, "Use Pepsodent every day - see your dentist twice a year". That phrase became so popular that it self-fulfilled to the point where insurance companies began covering two dental check-ups and cleanings annually.
However, every person has different genetics, different lifestyles, and can be more or less susceptible to gingivitis, gum disease, and tooth decay based off of those three primary factors.
So what do we do? We start off with a 6 month dental check up plan, then adjust for the factors affecting you in order to better prevent any oral disease, decay, and any other problems. The usual range will be anywhere from 3 months (aside from dental surgeries and follow-ups) to 8 months depending on our estimated necessity.
In order to help those that don't have insurance, we also have a dental membership plan that covers 2 dental checkups and cleanings a year.
Why We Recommend Regular Dental Visits Twice a Year (Usually)
Quality dental care is all about prevention, not reaction. We don't want you to have to come into our office because you have gingivitis, tooth decay, or because your gums are receding. We definitely don't want the reason for you to call because a crown fell out.
While these things can't always be prevented, we try.
Let's Be Proactive
We also want to be proactive with your dental care. The more often you come into our office, see our Facebook posts, or read our blog, the more opportunities we have to remind you to brush your teeth, floss, and use mouthwash. It's the dental trinity combined with a regular "check up" that at times includes the following important portion of your appointment:
Updating your medical and dental history
Oral Cancer Screening (We recommend at least once a year)
Blood Pressure Check (High blood pressure increases the chance of gingivitis)
Tooth and Gum Exam
Specialty Cases (Children, people with TMJ, patients with sleep apnea, teeth bleaching, etc.)
The actually teeth cleaning
Topical Fluoride application
Has It Been Longer Than 6 Months?
If you've been waiting more than 6 months for your next dental cleaning out of hesitation or any other reason, please give us a call at (817) 431-5514 during our office hours or use our online form to contact us about scheduling your next and possibly overdue dental appointment.