The American Dental Association recommends you see a dentist for professional cleanings and examinations every six months. This may seem like a lot, but consider what can happen in your mouth over a six month period.
Plaque created by food and beverages builds up on a daily basis. At-home brushing and flossing removes some of this plaque but is incapable of removing all of it. After 48 hours, plaque turns into tartar, which is much more difficult to remove. Combined, these things seal bacteria onto your teeth, which can result in tooth decay and cavities. Only a professional cleaning can fully remove all of the buildup from your teeth.
In addition to removing a buildup, a thorough dental examination can help spot dental issues before they become severe. Gum disease and tooth decay can all lead to serious problems if not treated early. During your routine dental examinations, these issues can be detected and treated before larger problems occur.
More than dental issues, general dentistry exams can help spot systemic issues including osteoporosis and diabetes. During your examinations, these and other health issues can be detected, helping keep your entire body healthy.