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How Often Should I Have a Dental Check-up?

Updated: Feb 8

We’ve all heard it from school, TV commercials and, most probably, our parents that we should visit the dentist, at least twice a year. But why is it that some people visit the dentist more frequently, some on a case-to-case basis, while others not at all?

In this article, we’ll be talking about why most medical professionals recommend dental visits every six months, what happens during a routine check-up and clean, and what dental problems we’re mitigating through preventative care.

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6 Months is the Standard

The Australian Dental Association recommends visiting the dentist twice a year, six months apart, for preventative care. This guidance applies to the average person and most of the general population—some people may require more stringent dental care due to medical and lifestyle reasons, which we will highlight further below.

According to Australia’s adult oral health tracker, only 48.8% of adults have had a routine dental check-up within the last 12 months. This figure explains the worsening dental health statistics that the country is facing. The same report highlighted that 32.1% of adults have untreated tooth decay, and 28.8% suffer from gum disease. These figures are a 6.6% and 28.8% increase in cases from the previous two years, respectively.

More Statistics from the Report

· Only 89% of the population has access to fluoridated drinking water.

· Only 53% of adults brush their teeth twice daily.

· 47.8% of adults are consuming too much free sugar.

· 12.2% of the population are daily smokers.

· 17.7% are engaged in long-term risky drinking.

· Only 10.7% of adults have never experienced tooth decay.

· 10.2% of adults have gone through severe tooth loss.

· 20.2% of adults reported toothache in the last 12 months.

With these on the table, it’s most important that we give more importance towards taking care of our gums and teeth. And the best way to prevent oral disease is with regular dental check-ups, along with a healthy lifestyle.

Quick Read: How to Safely Visit the Dentist During the Pandemic (

Who Should Visit the Dentist More Often?

Some people have a higher risk of developing dental problems and gum disease and should, therefore, make it a point to visit the dentist more often. These high-risk

individuals may be:

· People with Diabetes

· Smokers

· Pregnant Women

· People with Existing Gum Disease

· People with Cardiovascular Problems

· People with Weak or Compromised Immune Systems

· People with Oral Appliances, such as Braces

· People Who are Prone to Cavities

· People who Grind their Teeth During Sleep

The time frame for dental visits will vary between these high-risk groups and will depend on the recommendation of their healthcare practitioner. If you belong to one or more of these categories and haven’t had an initial screening, it’s best to set an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

What Goes on During a General Dental Check-Up?

When you visit your dentist for a scheduled bi-annual check-up, the service will fall into two parts: Examination and Cleaning.

Oral Examination

Your routine visit to the dentist entails an inspection of your overall oral health. Your dentist might screen you for:

  • Oral Cancers

  • Excessive Plaque Build-up

  • Gingivitis

  • Periodontal Disease

  • Halitosis

  • Dental Trauma

  • Condition of Existing Dental Work

In some cases, especially for children yet to grow their permanent teeth, an oral x-ray may be conducted before the examination and cleaning. Your dentist may also check on the condition of your jaw joints, your upper and lower jaw, oral mucosa, tongue and palate for any issues that need to be addressed.

Professional Teeth Cleaning

Turning to a Dentist for professional oral cleaning involves several stages that will be hard to accomplish without the proper knowledge and tools. Meaning, the oral hygiene practices we do at home will be sufficient up to some extent but having our teeth attended to by a dentist during a routine check-up will ensure that our pearly whites will be as clean as they can be.

  • Plaque and Tartar Removal

Using a tool called a dental scaler, your dentist will scrape these deposited materials from the surfaces of your teeth. This technique efficiently removes built-up tartar and plaque that regular brushing can’t get rid of. This procedure minimises the risk of developing gum disease and tooth decay.

  • Teeth Polishing

Using prophy toothpaste, a specialised toothpaste that offers a deeper clean, this will make your teeth look and feel even more pristine. Visit our Cosmetic Dentistry Sydney page for more in-depth services.

  • Flossing

Flossing in between the teeth will remove any residual gunk from the scraping and polishing.

  • Rinsing

Finishing off with a mouth rinse will ensure that there will be no leftover particles from the procedure and give your mouth a refreshing feel.

Why Do We Need Regular Dental Visits?

Daily oral hygiene regimens, such as brushing and flossing are essential for optimum oral health, but they’re not enough. Plaque and tartar can still accumulate despite brushing every day, especially in the hard-to-reach and less visible spaces in our teeth and below the gumline.

Having teeth cleaned professionally is very different from regular brushing. Dentists are highly trained in applying efficient and safe techniques towards removing dirt, plaque and tartar from the teeth. Furthermore, putting off professional cleaning increases the risk for developing oral issues, such as tooth decay and gum disease.

This is why regular visits to the dentist continue to become a pillar of preventative dental care, and dentists recommend their patients follow the schedule, regardless of the state of their teeth and gums.

The Pinnacle of Dental Cleaning

Pinnacle Dental has been providing professional teeth cleaning and oral examination services in the Sutherland Shire for more than 40 years. We have dedicated our craft towards providing the community with ever-reliable dental services backed by the latest technologies and practices.

Don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule your routine dental visit. You may also reach out to us if you need and emergency dentist Sydney or have any questions about the services we offer. We look forward to preserving your beautiful smile for years to come.

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