Woman talking to dentist

Some say once a year, some say twice a year. The real answer to how many dentist appointments you need is not what you might expect!

One or two hygiene visits per year is just a general guideline that dentists use for the average patient. Some patients visit the dentist once or twice a year because that’s what most insurance plans will cover.

The truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to keeping your teeth healthy. Any number of things can affect how often you should go to the dentist, including:

• Age
• Genetics
• Medical conditions
• What you eat
• Other lifestyle choices
• How well you clean your teeth

When one of these things changes, your chances of getting tooth decay and gum disease—the most common problems that dentists look for—also change.

For example, cutting back on how much sugary food you eat significantly reduces your risk for getting cavities. If you maintain a healthy diet, brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day, it’s very likely that you only need one or two dental appointments per year.

On the other hand, unhealthy choices like smoking or using tobacco products greatly increase your risk factors. Tobacco use is one of the leading causes of dental problems like gum disease. If you develop gum disease, you’ll need to go to the dentist three or even four times every year. Even if you quit smoking, you will still need to see the dentist more than twice a year to continue your gum treatment.

Remember that early prevention is the best way to stay healthy, save money and see your dentist less frequently. Even if your home care routine is thorough, there are still problems that only a dentist can see. Don’t miss your next cleaning visit or else you’ll need even more of them in the future!

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