Regular Check Ups are Key to Maintaining Good Oral Health

Roughly 75% of Canadians visit a dentist every year, and about 86% go every two years. This is great news. Canadians, as a whole, have fantastic dental health.

But when was the last time you visited your dentist? Are you part of the 25% of people that don’t go every year? Why is that?

Many people think that visiting a dentist is less important than visiting a standard doctor, but this isn’t true. Getting a dental checkup is important for your overall health.

We’re here to talk all about why you should never skip an oral health check up as well as how you can maintain good oral health between your visits to your friendly neighbourhood dentist. Read on to learn more.

Why are Regular Appointments Needed?

So what’s so important about visiting a dentist regularly?

You may think that your oral health is perfect because your teeth and gums look and feel fine. Many people are under the impression that pain is the first sign of dental issues, and they won’t make an appointment with their local dentist until they experience that pain.

This isn’t the case.

You can have problems like cavities and gum disease without even experiencing discomfort. Sometimes pain doesn’t occur until the problem is serious (and thus harder to fix).

During a dental checkup, the dentist will be able to evaluate your oral health and see if there are any problems that wouldn’t be obvious to you. The earlier they catch the problems, the easier the problems are to fix.

When you get regular dental checkups, you can also schedule regular dental cleanings. Brushing your teeth at home is important, but no home oral health care can compete with the professional cleaning tools dentists have to remove plaque and tartar.

During an appointment, your dentist can also screen for oral cancer. While oral cancer is uncommon, it is incredibly dangerous, and you want to catch it early so you can receive treatment as soon as possible.

How Often Should I Book a Dental Checkup?

Now you need to know when to see a dentist.

Most dentists recommend that you visit them twice per year. Once per year is already good, but twice per year is ideal if you can manage it. This gives you time for regular teeth cleaning sessions and allows your dentist a better chance to catch problems.

If you have any oral health problems or if you’re going through orthodontic treatment, you may want to visit your dentist more often. Talk to your dentist about how often they’d like you to make an appointment if you’re unsure.

What a Complete Dental Exam Should Include

So what happens during a complete dental exam?

In some cases, the dentist may start with an x-ray. This isn’t always necessary, but if it’s been a while since your last dental visit or you have pre-existing problems, the dentist will likely insist.

They’ll then use special tools to look inside your mouth. They may gently poke your gums to check for any signs of gum disease. They’ll ask you questions about your oral hygiene and ask if you’ve noticed any problems.

If they suspect something is wrong, they may have you make another appointment for a specific procedure.

The appointment is very straightforward. It’s also a good time to ask questions, so if you have any concerns, feel free to ask your dentist!

Maintaining Good Oral Health

Maintaining good oral health is crucial. Your dentist will give you advice while you’re at your appointment, but you’re responsible for following it.

A dentist can only do so much for your oral health. At the end of the day, you have to do most of the work on your own. They can give you the tools, but you have to apply them.

Luckily, maintaining good oral health is easy and doesn’t take much time and effort at all.

Tips for Maintaining Oral Health Between Visits

So how do you keep your mouth healthy in between your dentist’s visits?

First, make sure you brush and floss your teeth every day. You should brush at least twice per day (though some people prefer to brush after every meal) and floss at least once per day. Make sure you brush every surface of your teeth, including the molars way in the back.

Pay attention to what you eat. You don’t have to omit any foods or drinks from your diet, but certain things should be consumed in moderation. This includes acidic foods and drinks, sugary or sticky foods and drinks, and very hard foods.

You should also avoid foods that can stain. While they may not cause oral health problems, they will cause tooth discolouration. You should also limit alcohol and omit tobacco products completely.

Drink plenty of water and make sure you’re getting all of the necessary vitamins and nutrients.

Drink fluoridated water if possible and use fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoride is great for your teeth.


You can’t underestimate the value of a dental checkup. You should be visiting your dentist twice per year so they can make sure your teeth are in good condition. Two quick visits every year could be the difference between a healthy smile and some serious cavities!

Do your smile a favour and book an appointment with your dentist today.

At Highbury Park Dental, we want to ensure that all of our patients have the healthy and beautiful smiles they deserve. To learn more about our practice or make an appointment, contact us today.