Understanding the Six Month Check-Up

You’ve heard it before. You’ve probably been hearing it your whole life.

Visit your dentist every 6 months.

But why? Let’s explore why six month check-ups are recommended (and by whom?) and what it means for you.

Emergency Dentistry Maryville

Why Six Months?

The American Dental Association (ADA) states that to maintain your optimal oral health you need regular visits at intervals determined by your dentist. Wait a second – “intervals determined by your dentist” – that doesn’t mean every six months.

No, it doesn’t. It actually could mean you need to see the dentist more often than six months! But more on that later (see “Are You at a Higher Risk?”).

So why do most dentists recommend a standard 6 month check-up? The six month mark is just that: standard. It is an average number of months to go between cleanings that does not allow for too much dental damage to accumulate or occur for several adults. True, you might be “above average” when it comes to your oral health and perhaps you can safely visit the dentist less frequently, but that is something you need to discuss with Dr. Lindahl personally.

 

Prevention and Maintenance

From a mathematical standpoint however, most of you are not above average (sorry – we’ve double checked the math and it is just not logically possible!). Because of that, regular check-ups are a must for good oral health. Not only do dental check-ups provide a thorough cleaning which aids in your overall maintenance (dentists and hygienists can clean places in your mouth you might not be able to, and with more powerful tools!), but regular visits are ideal for prevention. Regular six month visits allow us to discover issues you might not yet even feel or see. These can include cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer. Yikes! Luckily, discovering them early, at the beginning stages, allow us to treat them when they are still much more manageable. We can’t catch what you won’t let us see!

Think of it like this, waiting until you’re experiencing serious discomfort or problems is like waiting for you car’s engine to seize up before finally deciding to get the long overdue oil change. It will end up costing you more money in the long run and can do more serious, sometimes long-term, damage than if you had kept a regular schedule. No one wants to find themselves in a last-minute, emergency situation. Although, if you do find yourself in need of emergency dentistry Maryville dentist Dr. Lindahl will be there for you!

 

Are You at a Higher Risk?

As mentioned above, you might actually need to come in to the dentist more often than every six months. There are several factors that can put you at a higher risk of dental problems. Talk to Dr. Lindahl about possible increasing the frequency of your dental visits if you:

  • smoke
  • are a diabetic
  • currently suffer from gum disease
  • have a weak immune response to bacterial infections
  • tend to get cavities or build up plaque

 

So contact Dr. Lindahl today to schedule your next appointment and perhaps discuss the frequency of your visits. We look forward to seeing your smile back in our office!

 

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