Blog Hero

Do You Need an Annual Dental Checkup?

Request Appointment

Do You Need an Annual Dental Checkup?

You can probably remember what it feels like to kick back in a dentist’s chair…the lights, the shiny tools, and the smell of mint and fluoride. But maybe that’s where the memories end. If it’s been a while since you last had your teeth looked at, you might not remember what a “check-up” actually is. So what does it all include? How often should you go for one? And do you need to book more than just a check-up if it’s been a while?

We’ll answer all your questions in this blog post. To start with, let’s talk about what a typical check-up looks like.

What Happens at a Dental Check-up?

A dental check-up consists of two things: an examination, and a cleaning. Even if it’s been some time since you last saw the dentist, these two procedures will cover everything the average person needs in terms of dental maintenance, so don’t worry about having to book more than just a check-up. The main thing is to see your dentist regularly, so they can get out in front of any potential oral health issues; and if any issues do present themselves, your dentist will advise you on what kind of follow-up appointment to book.

Dental Exam

During the examination, your dentist will first take a look at your gums and teeth to see if there are any potential areas of concern. There could be cavities hiding out in one of your molars, signs of gingivitis, or quite often, tartar buildup. Additionally, if you’re still young, your dentist will want to check in on your wisdom teeth and the overall development of your mouth. If you’ve had some fillings or other restorative work done in the past, they’ll also check to see that those things are still holding up well. 

The exam should only take a few minutes, and if your dentist finds anything wrong, they’ll talk about recommended treatment options with you.

Dental Cleaning

Next your dentist will send you off to the hygienist to give your pearly whites a brush up. This cleaning will go much further than you and your toothbrush ever could, and will leave your teeth feeling ultra fresh. Depending on the hygienist and the clinic, a cleaning will usually consist of plaque removal, brushing, flossing, and a fluoride treatment. The whole process can take around an hour.

How Often Should I Go For a Dental Check-up?

A key aspect of preventive dental maintenance is ensuring that you see a dentist often. As a result, most dentists recommend a biannual dental check-up, or once every six months. While once a year is certainly better than not at all, twice a year really gives your dentist the necessary runway to head off any potential issues that could arise in your mouth. 

A single cavity for example, can form in less than a year. By neglecting to see your dentist for twelve months or more, you could potentially expose your teeth to damage that will require restorative work, which can be both uncomfortable and expensive. As the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Plus, if you have health benefits which reset annually, it’s best to use them up before you forfeit them at the end of the year.

Factors That Can Affect Check-up Frequency

In rare cases, but especially if you or your family has a history of oral disease, you may need to have a check-up performed more than just twice a year. Again, when it comes to oral health, prevention is the best form of treatment, so the sooner your dentist can flag any potential problems, the better off you’ll be in the long run. 

Don’t Wait to Schedule Your Next Check-up

Your dentist is the only expert you can trust to keep your teeth and gums in good shape, and check-ups are a vital way for them to help you maintain your oral health. If you’re not sure when you last visited the dentist, don’t wait to book your next check-up. Book with Dentistry on Danforth today and give your teeth the treatment they need to last!

Written by Dr. Kostas Papadopoulos

Dr. Kostas Papadopoulos received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Toronto in 1992 after completing 3 years of biochemistry and the 4-year program in dentistry. He enjoys continuing education and has attended numerous rehabilitative and cosmetic dentistry programs, including courses taught by Dr. John Kois.

More Articles By Dr. Kostas Papadopoulos
instagram facebook facebook2 pinterest twitter google-plus google linkedin2 yelp youtube phone location calendar share2 link star-full star star-half chevron-right chevron-left chevron-down chevron-up envelope fax