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You should see your dentist at least twice per year to ensure your oral health is as good as possible. During these visits, you’ll undergo an exam of your teeth and gum tissue, as well as receiving a deep cleaning that will remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. Since you’ll need to trust your oral care to your dentist, it’s important to know when you should pick a new dentist and how to find one you like.

Do You Need a Different Dentist?
The first thing to consider is whether you should keep your existing dentist. Ideally, you should look for a dentist with an office near your home and try to choose someone with emergency hours. You should also make sure your dentist belongs to the ADA (American Dental Association) and that they belong to the network covered by your insurer. Finally, ask yourself how they make you feel. If you don’t trust your dentist, or you find it difficult to understand them, you may want to look for someone different.

Where Should You Look For a New Dentist?
You can start with an online search by using the search tool provided on the ADA’s website. You can also ask friends, co-workers, and family members which dentists they use. Once you have a list of potential dentists, find out which ones accept your insurance. You should also ask which dentists are accepting new patients. You can further narrow down your list of options by looking at the online reviews customers have left for each dentist.

Visit Each Dentist
Now that you have a shorter list drop by each dentist’s office for a short visit. This will give you the opportunity to evaluate the condition of the office and the demeanor of the staff. You can also ask to speak with the dentist or schedule a short consultation to meet the dentist. Try to pick a dentist who is personable, knowledgeable, and communicative.

You’ll have a much more pleasant experience with your new dentist if you also practice good oral care habits on a daily basis. This means brushing at least twice per day and flossing once a day. You should also rinse with fluoride mouthwash instead of water after brushing and gargle with mouthwash after eating anything that’s sugary, sweet, or sticky. These practices will ensure your teeth will stay strong and healthy for longer.