Oral care is nothing to play around with. Nearly half (46%) of U.S. adults over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease, and 26% of adults have untreated tooth decay. This leads to tooth loss, infections, oral surgery, and costly bills that could be avoided with routine dentist appointments.
How often should you go to the dentist? And what services should you get during your appointments? Read on to create your oral health plan.
Should I See the Dentist Once or Twice Per Year?
Adults and children alike should see a dentist at least once per year for routine cleanings and oral exams. Most dentists will recommend appointments every 6 months, especially for children with developing smiles. Every person’s smile is unique, so your dentist may recommend more or less frequent appointments based on your needs.
Most dental insurance plans will cover preventative dental appointments twice per year. You will need to verify your coverage specifically, but you should be able to get a teeth cleaning for little to no cost with insurance.
What to Expect from Routine Dentist Appointments
If you see your dentist on a regular basis, routine appointments are fairly straightforward. You can expect to receive:
- Detailed Teeth Cleaning from a Dental Hygienist
- A Complete Oral Exam from Your General Dentist, Family Dentist or Pediatric Dentist
- Tooth Decay Treatment Recommendations, as Needed
- Goody Bag Items, Such as Floss or Sample Toothpaste
- Answers to Any Questions You May Have about Your Oral Health
- A Personalized Plan to Keep Your Smile Strong in the Future
- Full-Mouth X-Rays, Depending on When the Last Ones Were Taken
If it’s been a while since your last dentist appointment, the tooth cleaning process may take longer than normal, or it may need to be broken into two appointments. If your dentist sees any oral health concerns during that appointment, he or she may resolve them in the moment or suggest a follow-up appointment for care. But don’t worry – you will be informed before anything happens. Transparency is key to successful oral care.
What If I Haven’t See a Dentist in Years?
This is one of the most common reasons patients avoid going to the dentist. They’re embarrassed about their smile and feel like it’s “too late” to see the dentist. At Clinton Dental Center, you never have to worry about judgment. We won’t ask provoking questions or make you feel bad about your smile. We take your smile in whatever it condition may be and work to make it stronger and healthier.
If you haven’t seen the dentist in years, there’s no time like the present to start! Book an oral exam and teeth cleaning for the whole family, right here at Clinton Dental Center. Call (586) 949-5363 to get started.
Learn more: Help! I Haven’t Been to the Dentist in Years
Tips for Getting through Dental Anxiety
If fear of the dentist is keeping you from getting your teeth cleaned, we have some tips to ease your worries. Try these tactics to conquer dental anxiety and jumpstart your oral health journey:
- Visit the Dentist Office in Person to Get Familiar with the Environment
- Choose a Stress-Free Time for Your Dentist Appointment, Like at the End of the Work Day Instead of the Beginning
- Verify Your Insurance Coverage before Your Appointment So You’re Not Worried about Cost
- Inform Your Dentist About Any Concerns You Have, Such as Loud Noises or Bright Lights
- Ask If You Can Complete Your Appointment Forms Online So You’re Fully Prepared at the Appointment
- Plan to Be There 15 Minutes Early So You Have Time to Park, Check in and Get Settled
- Pick the Right Dentist! Having a Kind Staff in a Comfortable Setting Makes All The Difference
More tips: How to Overcome Your Fear of the Dentist