August 4, 2015
by Sheryl Ubelacker, The Canadian Press CP
Checkups. Cleanings. X-rays. Just how often should Canadians be seen by a dentist to keep their teeth and gums in optimal health?
In part, that depends on a dentist’s philosophy. But it’s the assessment of the patient’s mouth and their risk for future cavities, gum disease or oral cancer that ultimately decide the interval between visits, says Dr. Euan Swan, manager of dental programs at the Canadian Dental Association in Ottawa.
“Those that have active disease or are at the highest risk of developing disease should be seen more frequently than those who do not have disease or are at very low risk,” explains Swan.
That could mean coming back in six or 12 months for a checkup, although cleanings can be scheduled more often: some dental offices want to see adults to polish their pearlies every four months.
Cleaning is not just for esthetics, but to remove built-up gunk between teeth and below the gum line.
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