Regular dental check-ups are imperative to maintain oral hygiene. However, there are no set guidelines by the World Health Organisation as to the recommended frequency of dental visits. This is because oral health will vary between individuals. If you are prone to oral health issues, you dentist may recommend your dental visits be more frequent than other patients. However, the general consensus among dentists is a check-up once or twice a year.
How can you lower the risk of oral health issues and lessen the frequency needed for dental check-ups? First, brush your teeth at least twice a day. Brushing your teeth will remove the bacteria that forms a coating on your teeth. This bacteria is known as plaque, and needs to be removed to prevent cavities from forming in your teeth. Regular tooth brushing also helps stimulate the gums. This stimulation promotes healthy gums, which help to further prevent gum disease.
When brushing your teeth, make sure you use as toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that that is absorbed by the enamel coating of your teeth. When fluoride is absorbed, it helps repair this enamel coating in a process known as remineralisation. Fluoride can also be found in drinking water. Make sure your water is fluoridated. Most bottled water is not fluoridated so opt for tap water whenever possible, as many governments add fluoride at water treatment plants. This is an initiative that is supported by the World Health Organisation.
Dental flossing also helps keep your dentist at bay. Brushing cannot remove food or plaque that becomes trapped between your teeth. How many times have you had a steak and some fatty part of the meat has become trapped between your teeth? If this was not removed through flossing, it’ll become a ticking time bomb and will lead to tooth decay or gum disease. Flossing should take place at least once a day, and you should make sure not to injure your gums by being too rough or invasive when inserting the floss between your teeth.
The use of a mouth wash can aid in the prevention of oral hygiene issues. Most mouth washes contain fluoride, which is an important ingredient in helping to protect and rebuild the enamel on your teeth. Mouth wash also provides the added bonus of freshening your breath. Especially helpful if you have just had a meal containing garlic!
Last, but certainly not least, your diet will play a significant role in the health of your teeth. Avoid sugary food and drinks, especially sticky, sugary treats that will stick to the enamel of your teeth. Food and drink containing sugar will constantly expose your teeth to acids. These acids will eat away at the enamel on your teeth. Throw out the sugary snacks and choose snacks that contain no sugar, such as cheese, veggies or yoghurt. If you do have a sugary snack, brush and floss your teeth directly afterwards.
You are never going to be able to eliminate visits to the dentist completely (nor should you want to!). However, you can help to lessen the risk of oral health issues by properly looking after your teeth. Follow good oral hygiene practices and you should be able to limit the number of dental check-ups to one a year.