You saw the headline of this article, and you thought, “Twice a year, duh. Next!” Didn’t you?

Not so fast. It turns out the answer is not as clear-cut as that.

There’s quite a bit of variety in the frequency of visits dentists recommend for us. This makes sense, as there is as much variety in the work we get done when we’re at the dental office.

So how often should you visit the dentist? There are a few ways to find out the answer that’s right for you. Let us guide you through them.

A Range in Frequency

If you need a simple rule of thumb for how many visits to make to the dentist each year, two is a fine catch-all. But your individual dental plan will vary.

Even the American Dental Association admits that some people may only need to visit the dentist once per year. While others will blow past both numbers we’ve mentioned so far and require quite a few more visits.

Your dentist is the expert to talk to when deciding which of these numbers matches your dental needs. If you have a good dentist, you should be able to talk to them honestly about your dental care. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that with your dentist, it may be time to shop for a new one.

How Often Should You Visit the Dentist? More If You Have These Risk Factors

Let’s assume you’re still too stubborn to consult a professional. That’s okay for now, as long as you know the risks that come with poor mouth care.

It’s a scary list of consequences, but you can reduce your chances of having to go to the dentist frequently by cutting back on high-risk behaviors.

High-risk conditions when it comes to your mouth include any of the following.

  • Smoking
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • Gum disease (if you currently have it)
  • Weak immune system (which means worse response to bacterial infections)
  • Frequent plaque buildup
  • Cavity-prone

Obviously, many of these conditions are not behaviors. You can’t control whether or not you have Type I diabetes, for example. And if you want to have kids naturally, you need to get pregnant.

But one thing is clear. If you smoke, you need to stop yesterday. We know the message gets old, but it doesn’t get any less true.

People with these high-risk conditions may need to visit the dentist as often as every three months, which means four visits a year instead of two.

Twice a Year or Not, You Gotta Go

How often should you visit the dentist? The answer is ultimately up to your dentist and, hopefully to a lesser extent, you. But no matter what your individual dental treatment plan is, regular visits to the dentist are important.

Let us know if it’s time for you to make an appointment.