Dental Checkup: How Often Do You Really Need It?

October 25, 2022

Most of us know that a regular dental checkup is needed to have a healthy mouth. However, it is admitted that most adults do not go to the dentist as often as they would like. It is recommended that adults should visit the dentist every six months for general cleaning and an oral exam. Most people who practice good oral hygiene will only need to go for a dental checkup every six months However, the dentist may require some individuals to come in more frequently for an exam and cleaning. Here is a list of all individuals that fall into this category.

Pregnant Individuals

If you are pregnant, you can expect a greater risk of developing cavities and gum disease. 

Cancer Patients

Cancer medications can dry out the mouth which put patients at a greater risk for oral health issues.


Diabetes can contribute to gum and some other oral health problems.


Tobacco is a huge contributor to gum disease. It makes it harder for your body to recover following oral surgery and dental procedures

Heart Patients

Oral hygiene is crucial to prevent heart disease, as bacteria in the mouth can eventually make their way into the heart. People with poor oral health have higher rates of cardiovascular problems compared with people who adopt good oral hygiene. Regular dental check-ups and cleaning may decrease the risk of developing heart disease.

What Can You Expect at Your Dental Checkup

A dental checkup usually takes around an hour or less to complete. During the appointment, a dentist and a dental hygienist will access your oral health and give recommendations for any treatment or at-home regime. You can expect the following during your checkup:

  • X-Rays

This procedure will be conducted by a dental hygienist at the start of the appointment to allow the dentist to review them before examining your mouth

  • Polishing and Cleaning 

Your teeth will be cleaned using scalers and other tools that remove tartar and plaque from the surface of your tooth and below the gum line. It will then be polished using a paste followed by flossing in between your teeth

  • Screening for Oral Cancer

Oral cancer screening is done before examining your teeth and gums. This consists of examining your tongue, palate, inner cheeks, throat and other parts of your oral cavity to detect any signs of cancer

  • Cavity Detection

The dentist will now check your teeth for any cracks, chips, cracks, and other damage that might require a fix. The dental hygienist will assist the dentist by charting any tooth that is damaged and requires treatment

  • Condition of Existing Dental Work

Filling and past dental works do not last forever. This is the reason a dentist checks their condition during an exam. If the current one is no longer keeping the tooth healthy, they will make recommendations for a new crown or filling

As a general rule of thumb, visit your dentist every six months. If you are experiencing any issues or frequently develop oral problems, either visit your dentist immediately or go once every three months.