If you have a healthy mouth and visit the hygienist at least twice a year then you would generally only need a check up with the dentist once a year. This is only a guide and your own dentist may prefer to see you every six months. This may be because he is monitoring certain changes in your teeth, or he / she may be keeping an eye on changes in your gum health that the hygienist may have brought to his attention.
All Dentists and Hygienists would recommend you use a toothpaste rich in Fluoride. Fluoride helps to protect your teeth from decay and cavities. It also helps when teeth are forming as it mixes with tooth enamel allowing some protection. Fluoride is found naturally in our water and in some countries fluoride is added.
You should avoid using Fluoride rich toothpastes and mouthwashes in children unless advised by a Dentist. Excessive exposure to Fluoride in a child when their teeth are forming can cause their teeth to have a patchy appearance called Fluorosis.