How often should you visit the dentist?

We all know that we should visit the dentist regularly to maintain good oral health. However, whether you are putting off a dentist visit due to nervousness or life has managed to get in the way, we do not all visit the dentist as often as we should. NHS waiting times have caused many people to miss dental appointments due to inconvenient appointment times or long waits between visits, with many people choosing to turn to the ease of private dentistry.

At Revitalise Dental Centre, we understand that it can be challenging to keep to regular appointments and that you may be embarrassed to visit. Our friendly team are on hand to ensure that your visits to the dentist are an essential part of your health and self-care routine.

Regularly visiting the dentist is essential but do you know how often you should go?

Currently, only one in five people only visit the dentist when they have problems with their teeth, with 24% of people admitting that they often treat problems at home. Not only is treating dental problems at home risky but it could also lead to further complications, which could cause long term damage to your oral health.

You should visit the dentist once every six months for a check-up. Not only will this improve your oral health but it also allows your dentist to deliver preventative care which could stop dental problems from arising. In between your dental appointments, you should visit the dental hygienist to maintain optimum oral health.

Regular Exams

Regular exams are crucial for several reasons. To check your teeth and gums are healthy, clean and tackle problems that may have remained unidentified. Your dentist will thoroughly examine your teeth and overall oral health during your dental exam.

Maintaining a routine and having regular dental exams is the best way to ensure excellent oral health. Preventative care is more cost-effective than reactive treatment and could save your teeth before decay causes irreversible problems.

What happens during a dental appointment?

Your dentist will thoroughly examine your teeth, gums and overall oral health during your appointment. Whilst there are standard practices, there are some aspects of your check-up that will depend on a patient’s individual needs.

Your dentist will ask about your overall general health. This helps them identify how many external factors could affect your oral health.

  • They will examine your mouth, including your teeth and gums.
  • In some cases, it might be necessary to carry out further treatments such as X-rays.
  • Your dentist should ask about your lifestyle and may offer advice on diet or smoking or an oral hygiene routine to maintain your oral health.
  • They will inform you of any changes or areas to be aware of when caring for your teeth at home.
  • If you need further treatment alongside your routine check-up, they will advise when this should occur.

It is essential to be aware that the process of a dental check-up will vary depending on a patient’s needs. Your Dentists will always explain the treatment being carried out and answer any questions you might have regarding treatment.

Should I visit the dental hygienist?

Between dentist appointments, you should also visit your dental hygienist to maintain overall oral cleanliness and ensure that you support great overall oral health at home. Your dental hygienist will also monitor any changes in your oral health, which could lead to mouth cancer. Although many people see a dental hygienist as an added extra, visiting the hygienist should be an integral part of your oral health routine, just like visiting the dentist.

In between regular dental check-ups, you should also visit your dental hygienist. A dental hygienist will clean your teeth professionally, removing any plaque and embedded debris between your teeth.

Once you have had your professional clean, your dental hygienist will also offer recommendations for maintaining optimum oral health at home. If you have any questions about home maintenance, your dental hygienist will be able to answer these and demonstrate how to do things properly.

At Revitalise, we will ensure that your hygienist appointments fall between your regular visits to the dentist so that you can maintain a great oral health routine that supports your dental health. Our hygienists are available to offer helpful advice about brushing and flossing and can screen for any signs of mouth cancer.

Between Dental Visits

Between dental visits, it is crucial to maintain good oral hygiene at home. This will prevent further problems and additional dental visits outside of your routine appointments. Many people are unsure of how to care for their oral hygiene at home correctly and are confused about how to best care for their teeth – especially if there are mitigating factors and are starting from a place of poor oral health. When you regularly visit a dentist and oral hygienist, you will learn to care correctly for your teeth between visits to the practice.

How to care for your teeth at home

Your dentist or oral hygienist may offer some suggestions about how to care for your oral health between visits. These will depend on your current oral health but may include:


Many people forget to floss when they brush their teeth but flossing is an essential part of any dental hygiene routine. Flossing removes leftover debris between teeth, keeping teeth and gums healthy. Your toothbrush cannot remove all food debris from your mouth, so flossing is vital if you have tight gaps between your teeth. Using a tipi brush or interdental floss twice per day can ensure that your gums and teeth are in excellent condition for the next time you visit the dentist.

Ensure you are using the correct toothbrush

Pressing too hard when you brush can remove protective enamel from the teeth, weaken the surface and make teeth more susceptible to decay. Using an electric toothbrush without pressing hard could be the solution to getting a ‘clean feeling’ without scrubbing too hard. If enamel is already weakened, your dentist may suggest using a soft-bristled brush.

Reducing the consumption of acidic foods and beverages

Your diet coke addiction might seem harmless, but acidic food and drinks such as citrus and fizzy drinks can weaken enamel and cause tooth decay. Your dentist may recommend that you drink fewer fizzy drinks or eat less acidic foods if they can see signs of weakening enamel.

If you are worried that acidic foods and drinks may be causing weakening tooth enamel, speak to your dentist, who will be able to guide how to mitigate this. Reducing your consumption of acidic foods and beverages should be your priority. If you consume these regularly and cannot eliminate them from your diet completely, limiting consumption to mealtimes should mitigate some damage.

Quitting Smoking

Not only does smoking lead to extrinsic staining caused by a build-up of chemicals on the surface of the teeth, but it is one of the leading causes of mouth cancers and other cancers within the body. Your dentist will always recommend that you stop smoking to benefit your overall health. If you are worried about the staining caused by smoking, your dentist may be able to advise on further treatment, such as teeth whitening.

If you smoke regularly, you must maintain regular appointments with your dentist, as they will notice any changes in your oral health, which could lead to more severe diseases.

Prevent Problems

Visiting your dentist every six months can help to prevent further oral health problems such as tooth decay, which may need additional treatment. Your dentist will also screen for mouth cancer and other diseases to ensure that your mouth is healthy.

Preventative care is preferred as it often means less dental treatment is required in the long term. The most prominent causes of tooth loss are tooth decay and gum disease. When you visit your dentist, they can inform you of any oral health changes that may need extra care at home.

Emergency Appointments

Once you have identified that you need an emergency appointment, you should contact a dentist. This appointment may not be with your usual dentist and you do not necessarily have to go to a practice where you are registered as a patient. When you call the dental practice, you should explain the problem and state that you would like an emergency appointment.

Many surgeries will keep several appointments available for patients seeking emergency help. Staff at the dental surgery will be able to offer the next available emergency appointment so that you can be seen as quickly as possible.

If your dental emergency occurs outside of regular practice hours, it may be possible to get an out of hours appointment. Remember, you do not need to see your usual dentist, so you should arrange an emergency appointment to suit your needs.

If you are unable to access an emergency appointment at your usual dental practice, you may be able to contact another dental practice to access an emergency appointment. Some practices will ask that you complete registration forms. However, this will not affect ongoing treatment with your usual dentist and it does not mean that you are now a patient of this practice.

Many dental practices, including Revitalise, offer emergency treatment without the need for patients to be registered. You will have to pay for your emergency appointment or any subsequent treatment that you receive. Often the cost of the emergency treatment (to relieve pain or threat to life) is covered in the treatment cost.

The cost of your emergency appointment will not cover further treatment, such as a dental implant for a knocked-out tooth. Your dentist will be able to advise as to what is covered by your emergency appointment.

Health Issues

If you have been diagnosed with any new medical issues, it is always good to schedule a check-up with your dentist. Some antibiotics can cause discolouration in teeth. Some chemotherapies for cancer treatment can cause tooth decay, so it is essential to inform your dentist of these so that they can perform any extra checks and monitor your teeth.

If you have any health concerns that may affect your oral health, it is important to discuss these with your dentist so that they can consider this when performing your dental exam.


Many people are nervous about visiting the dentist and as a result, might not have visited for some time. There are all sorts of reasons people are anxious about visiting the dentist, from embarrassment to fear. If you are nervous about visiting the dentist, it is good to understand that you are not the first person to have experienced this. Your dentist will be well versed in treating patients who are anxious about receiving treatment.

At Revitalise, we have helped many patients to overcome dental anxiety and the approach is different for everyone. Some patients visit the practice ahead of their appointment and we welcome patients to visit Revitalise to familiarise themselves with the practice before their appointment. Our team is always on hand to answer any questions patients might have regarding treatment and aim to put you at ease before your visit.

It is important to note that our dentists do not expect your teeth to be perfect and that for some people, visiting a dentist is a huge step. The Revitalise team will be with you every step of the way. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, the only way to improve this is to visit your dentist.

Visit Revitalise

Our highly trained dentists offer excellent patient care from our beautiful treatment centre in St Agnes. From the picturesque surroundings to our friendly and knowledgeable team, the Revitalise experience puts customers at ease, aiming to make them feel valued before they even enter the treatment room.

If you are interested in learning more about how one of our dentists could help you to improve your oral health, get in touch with us today by completing a contact form or calling us on 01872 555 911.

About the author


Alkisti Vousvouni graduated from Cardiff University in 2010. She has since led a diverse career, growing her skills and offering a variety of treatments to best care for her patients. She worked in the Oral and Maxillofacial Department at the Royal Cornwall Hospital where she was introduced to aspects of general medicine, facial reconstruction and complex tooth removal. She taught students at the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne, and even joined a group of doctors on a research expedition to Southern and Eastern Africa A very important part of Alkisti’s work is to ensure nervous patients of all ages feel comfortable and confident in their smiles and oral health.

Connect with Alkisti Vousvouni on LinkedIn.

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What our Clients say

Marion visited Revitalise to reclaim her smile with a complete implant treatment. In this video, she explains how the staff at the practice put her at ease and why she recommends Revitalise to everyone she meets.

Client: Marion
Treatment: Complete mouth secured with implants

“The minute I met Martin, I just knew he was so calm and relaxing. So then we had a discussion and Martin said what he could do and it had to be what our pocket could afford as well and we went ahead with it. The experience I had at this dentist was unbelievable, it was a journey I loved every minute of.”

Client: Dee
Treatment: Dental Implants

“There’s always smiling, handshakes, hugs and plenty of tea and coffee. They looked after my husband who was there for the day. They do the sedation and Hayley looked after me. Obviously I was unaware of exactly what they were doing, but they always make you feel so comfortable. Although you’re nervous, I don’t think I could’ve gone and got the same treatment anywhere else.”

Client: Carolyn
Treatment: Dental Implants

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