How often do you really need to go to the dentist?

You know that reminder phone call you get from the dentist? Maybe it’s an email or a text nowadays, and you might wonder, “Am I seeing the dentist too much? Wasn’t I just there?” So, how often do you really need to go to the dentist?

First, regular checkups are the best way to maintain your oral health and catch any potential problems early. 

Dr. Tom always says “small problems are easy problems, big problems are big headaches.” 

Our Markham Family Dentists recommends scheduling regular visits to the dentist every 4-6 months.  However, it may be more frequent if you’re at higher risk of developing dental complications or developing tartar at a faster rate.


Why is going to the dentist important?

We all try our best to brush twice per day and floss daily to maintain our oral health. However, sometimes problems like cavities and gum disease aren’t visible or even noticeable. It’s not until we have pain that we take action. Seemingly without warning we need emergency dental services potentially driving up our costs. 

Our dentists and hygienists undergo intensive training to check for problems you might miss. We inform, describe and help you make a decision so you can treat it sooner rather than later (thus avoiding multiple visits). 


How often should you go to the dentist for cleaning? 

If you went to your dentist or hygienist for an annual dental cleaning in the last 6 months, give yourself a pat on the back. It may not be your favourite appointment, but regular cleaning visits will reduce your chance of cavities and gum disease by significantly reducing the amount of plaque in your mouth.

Your dentist and hygienist will come up with an appropriate treatment plan to meet your needs, but most often they will recommend you visit your dentist regularly every 3-6 months. 

We’re also happy to accommodate your insurance plans to get the best results. We’ll give you options and explain the process to optimize your plan and your dental health. 

How long do dental cleanings last?

Typically, your dental cleaning will last around 1 hour. During this time the dentist or hygienist will clean your teeth. Depending on your situation, you may need a dental exam from the dentist, who may sometimes want an x-ray for a full evaluation of your dental health.


Why should some people go to the dentist more often? 

Some people need to go to the dentist more than twice a year, but who? If you fall into one of the categories below, you may be at higher risk of developing dental complications and your dentist may recommend more regular check-ups and cleanings.

  • Pregnant women
  • Smokers
  • Diabetics
  • If you suffer from a dry mouth
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Gum disease
  • History of cavities
  • Long-term dental or orthodontic treatments
  • You are experiencing pain and/or discomfort
  • You have a weak immune response or are undergoing cancer treatment

Other times when you should go to the dentist 

We are happy to see you at your regular scheduled check-ups, and we’re always here to help sooner if you notice something about your mouth or teeth that doesn’t seem quite right. If you have any of the following or are unsure if you should come in, give us a call!

  • Pain
  • Abnormal bumps
  • Change in colour of your tongue, teeth, or mouth
  • Change in sensation in your mouth
  • Gums bleeding more
  • An abnormal smell coming from your teeth or mouth
  • Trouble chewing

How can you go to the dentist less often? 

Now that you know how often you need to visit the dentist, you may be asking yourself how can I go to the dentist less often?

What it really comes down to is good and simple oral hygiene. If you do an excellent job at home – brushing twice a day, flossing daily and keeping your gums healthy, your dentist may recommend extending the gap between visits intervals. 

Check out our blog on Brushing Your Child’s Teeth – What You Need to Know for some tips on how to care for your kids oral hygiene (as well as your own).

Visiting the dentist is a preventative measure for improving your overall health, and if you keep up with your regularly scheduled visits, it can make things easier for you in the long run.  Remember to follow the advice of your dentist and hygienist and book the next dental follow up appointment as per their expert opinion.  

If it has been longer than 6 months, then it’s probably time to return that call, email, or text that they sent you, right!? 



Book with us today

Our Markham dental office remains open and we continue to do more than the recommended measures to keep you safe.

It will always be our primary goal to ensure the safety and comfort of our patients and of our staff. If you have any questions, please feel free to call our Office Manager Jill at the office at 905-294-6444 and she will be happy to talk with you.