Setting Up a Regular Dental Exam Routine

Routine dental exams are an important part in keeping your teeth and gums as healthy as they can be. Even if you regularly brush and floss your teeth at home and are extra care to monitor your mouth for any changes, it is still important to visit the dentist on a regular schedule for an expert look at what is going on. Your dentist is able to look for problems that you may not be able to see or even feel yet.   It is recommended that people visit the dentist twice a year for their routine dental exams of checkups and annual cleanings. Regular visits allow the dentist to become more familiar with your teeth and gums which will lead them to be able to spot any changes quicker than if you were a sporadic visitor. Setting up a regular dental exam routine will make it easier to keep and maintain these appointments because they will be a regular part of your life.   These regular visits should be made approximately six months apart. To help the routine dental exams stick in your memory, it is recommended that they be arranged around a date that is meaningful for you, such as a birthday or anniversary. However, if you don’t want to associate your birthday and anniversary with a trip to the dentist then arrange the visits around another easily remembered date. One possibility is to set the exams on the start dates of two alternating seasons, such as spring and fall or summer and winter. Another possible exam schedule is to have one checkup scheduled for around the time students start to head back to school. The other exam could then be scheduled around the first of the next year or Valentine’s Day at the latest.   The recommended schedule of twice a year for routine dental exams only applies to people who are generally healthy with little or no dental health concerns. Some people who are in good dental health can even manage with a once yearly dental visit. There are some individuals who need to see the dentist more frequently to maintain their dental health. People who are considered to be high risk may need to visit their dentist on a quarterly basis. Individuals who may need more frequent trips to the visit include those with cavities and gum disease, diabetics, smokers, people who have weak immune systems and may have trouble with bacterial infections and those who battle plaque build-up. Work with your dentist to develop the best schedule for you.

Dr. Hazim is a member of the American Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. A graduate of Loyola University, Dr. Hazim has undergone continuing education at the Pankey Institute and has received accreditation from the Western Regional Examining Board.

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