When it comes to our dental hygiene, we are mostly given the same instructions as the next person: brush twice a day for two minutes, floss once per day, and see your dentist at least once every six months.
However, when it comes to dental treatment approaches, a one-size-fits-all treatment method might not be the best way to go.
Recently, a team of researchers from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry conducted a study that suggested that dental visits should actually vary depending on the person. Their study looked at a group of about 5,000 patients, about 50% of whom had some level of gum disease, which is representative of the greater U.S. population. It was found that people with high risk conditions often still faced tooth loss, even though they were getting their recommended twice per year preventative cleanings.
Admittedly, there were a few shortcomings with the study. The researchers failed to mention the oral hygiene habits of the patients who were studied. This information is important because how well people care for their teeth at home is just as important as the frequency of dental visits. Prevention is a big part of oral health, so it is important that this component is not overlooked.
From this and other similar studies, the American Dental Association has started to move away from recommending twice per year dental appointments in favor of suggesting custom-tailored treatments. These treatments should be based on medical history, current health, and risk factors.
If dental patients are dealing with red, swollen, and tender gums that seem to be pulling away from the teeth and bleed easily – all signs of gum disease – they may need to come in for dental cleanings and checkups every three months instead of every six.
Regardless of whether or not you have experienced any dental health problems in the past, contact our office about how frequently you should be coming in for cleanings.