Growing up, I vaguely recall visiting the dentist when I was in early elementary school. We went frequently enough for me to remember what the reception area looked like. I even remember my dentist’s face and his name. Considering that that happened while I was still 9 or 10, it’s not a huge surprise that I remember it.
What is funny, though, is that I don’t quite recall much from those years onward. And the sole reason for that is we never went to the dentist again for about 14 years.
That may come as a shock to a lot of people, because neglecting to visit the dentist the two times a year that is advised isn’t a huge deal to most people. But the fact I hadn’t gone for 14 years is even a shock to me. I recall my parents saying it was too expensive (I’m pretty sure their insurance for dental wasn’t great whatsoever). Well, I can get behind that. But a few visits in between that long hiatus would’ve at least identified a few problems earlier.
You see, now I’m predisposed to not visiting the dentist biannually though I know I should. I recently made a few visits of the past year or two because my wisdom teeth needed removed and I had to have 6 cavities filled (it’s a shock it wasn’t more than 6 after 14 years of not going).
But why is it that we need to visit twice a year? Why not once every 12 months? Why not once every two years if we’re unlikely to develop a cavity in that time span?
Identifying other issues.
Sure, a black spot or big toothache will be enough to make you visit the dentist on your own, but what about things you don’t see or feel? Such things as gingivitis can escape the lay person’s attention, especially if you don’t know what to look for.
Even if you don’t have gingivitis or any dental caries and think your own cleaning routine is top notch at home, going to the dentist for a check up and a cleaning is great because they can clean your mouth like no other. The hygienists are trained to scrape away any built up plaque that your own brush can’t remove, and they’re top notch at polishing off your teeth and even flossing deeper than you can.
There’s no reason to not visit your dentist twice a year, even if you do claim it’s too expensive. Just make a point to get in for your teeth’s sake. They’ll thank you down the road.