Many dentists suggest that patients visit a dentist for a checkup a minimum of two times per year. While this schedule is not necessarily unique ,, the reasoning behind the suggestion may surprise you. Many dentists believe in early detection of diseases like cancer which sometimes presents symptoms in the mouth, and encourages two visits per year for patients in order to look for symptoms that may lead to an early diagnosis.

Visiting the dentist every six months is a common practice for many people, and a suggestion by most dentists. The general sentiment behind the suggestion is that the typical brushing and flossing activities of Americans will not remove all buildup, and after roughly six months it begins to do permanent damage to teeth if not removed. Typical brushing and flossing will not remove tartar and plaque under the gum lines, and a dentist is generally the only one who is able to provide the level of cleaning that is necessary to keep your teeth healthy. While the state of oral health is the primary reason behind the six month visit suggestion, dentists also believe that they may be able to notice the minority changes to the inside of the mouth that happen as a result of disease manifesting itself elsewhere in the body. Some types of cancer and auto-immunity issues will show symptoms inside of the mouth early in their progress, and while these changes may be ignored by the patient they can be noticed by a dentist in a close examination setting.

Early detection and diagnosis of many diseases provides a far greater chance of survival due to treatment being administrated before the disease has a chance to spread. Many times patients will not think about the changes to their bodies that might be clues to the early manifestations of disease, and will wait too long to be diagnosed. By using the six month schedule to get those at risk examined during a routine and routine cleaning, dentists are able to potentially act as “early detectors” and get patients treatment earlier in the life cycle of the disease. In this regard, the routine cleaning schedule recommended by most dentists becomes a way to not only improve your oral health, but potentially save your life as well. See your dentist a minimum of two times per year, in order to keep both your oral health as well as potentially your physical health in check.