Why You Really DO Need to See the Dentist Every 6 Months (And Use Insurance Benefits)

Has anyone told you why you should visit the dentist every six months? Have you heard that you should from your parents, your friends, and even your dentist? Have you ever wondered why they tell you this or even if it’s true? Did you know that these visits are actually very important to your overall health? By scheduling an appointment every six months, you can actually reduce your healthcare cost.

To see why these appointments are so important, let’s look at what happens. If you’ve ever thought visiting your dentist is simply letting someone else brush your teeth, you may be surprised. One important part of your appointment is a checkup, where a dental professional will

Inspect your smile for signs of cavities and tooth decay. They will also look at the tartar build-up in your mouth. Plaque—which is sticky bacteria that can’t be removed by brushing and flossing—can lead to several serious health problems. Next, your dental professional will check the health of your gums and will finally look over your cheeks, throat, and face. This is an oral cancer screening and is very important in catching health issues early.

The next part of your appointment is a dental cleaning. Your cleaning starts with scaling, which is removing plaque and tartar below your gumline. Removing this plaque is important because this tartar can result in serious oral health issues. After scaling, your hygienist will polish your teeth with prophylaxis paste—a gritty, toothpaste like substance that will brighten your smile and remove stains. Finally the dentist will floss between your teeth to remove remaining debris.

It is important to visit the dentist twice a year to maintain your oral health. In fact, having a hygienist scan for oral cancer and scaling your teeth is the best way to detect and prevent health problems and cavities. These appointments are important for prevention, just like it important to change your car every three to five months.

Which brings us to our last point: do you know how much of your dental benefits you’ve used? Many dental insurances allow two cleanings a year and some offer annual benefit allowances for restorative treatments and are Preferred Providers with private dental practices. Most of these benefits don’t carry over from year to year, so don’t waste your benefits. Also, schedules fill up fast at the end of each year, so we recommend making your appointment now. Please call the nearest Smiles Dental office to get the most out of your insurance benefits. For more information on your benefits, please talk to your insurance provider.