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How often should I get a dental cleaning?

I'm a 26 yer old female and haven't seen the dentist in four years. I'm overdue, but how often should I see the dentist under normal circumstances?
Dental care is very important for your overall health and well-being so it is very important for you to make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible. Even if you take excellent care of your teeth and gums at home, you still need to see a dentist regularly as there are certain problems that you cannot see or feel. Under normal circumstances, most children and adults should see their dentist for a regular check up and thorough cleaning once every six months. However, people with certain risk factors should see their dentist more than twice a year. Risk factors for oral disease include smoking, alcohol abuse, pregnancy, diabetes, poor oral hygiene, and certain medical conditions. If you have a history of periodontal or gum disease you should also discuss with your dentist if you need to be seen more often. Going to the dentist on a regular schedule not only helps keep your teeth and gums healthy but can also detect problems early, such as cavities, gum disease, and even cancer. If your dentist does detect a problem, he or she will be able to treat it at a more manageable stage.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.

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