You may know that it is a good idea to get your teeth professionally cleaned periodically. Dental cleanings are important for the health of your teeth and mouth, to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. What you may not know is how often you should schedule teeth cleanings and other general dentistry services. Here’s what dentists and other dental professionals recommend when it comes to scheduling dental cleanings.
Get Your Teeth Cleaned At Least Every 6 Months
According to the American Dental Association, the average patient should have their teeth cleaned by a licensed dentist at least every 6 months. Based on many years of research on plaque buildup, it has been discovered that most patients will get what they need to maintain their dental and oral health from twice yearly dental cleanings.
Why is 6 Months the Ideal Schedule?
Even with brushing and flossing at home, there will be some degree of plaque buildup on the teeth. Plaque can form in hard to reach places such as between the teeth, along the gumline, and in small grooves and crevices in the teeth. Brushing and flossing can remove a lot of the food particles and plaque from your teeth, but it is not enough to prevent the need for professional dental cleanings.
Along with your dental cleaning you will receive a comprehensive oral evaluation. This includes an oral cancer screening to detect any soft tissue abnormalities that may need to be addressed. Early detection of oral cancer greatly improves the chances of a positive outcome with treatment, which is another reason why it is important to go to the dentist every 6 months.
Do I Still Need to Brush and Floss at Home?
Even if you go to the dentist on the recommended schedule, it is still necessary to brush and floss your teeth at home between appointments. Dentists recommend that you brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day to remove food residue and plaque. This prevents tooth decay and gum disease from developing between your professional dental cleanings.
Is There Ever a Reason for More Frequent Cleanings?
For some patients, dentists may recommend more frequent dental cleanings. If you have chronic gum disease that has been difficult to treat and keep at bay, your dentist may recommend that you come in for deep cleanings monthly or quarterly. Some patients develop plaque at a faster rate than others. Diabetes is one condition that can increase your chances of developing gum disease due to a higher level of sugar in your saliva. For some patients it may be due to diet or other factors.
Does Insurance Cover Dental Cleanings?
Dental cleanings and oral examinations are considered to be preventive dentistry because they prevent dental and oral health problems. This means that most dental insurance plans cover these appointments every 6 months.
What if I Haven’t Had My Teeth Cleaned in Over 6 Months?
If it's been more than 6 months since you’ve had your teeth cleaned, you’re not alone. As many as 40% of Americans don’t get regular dental care or only go to the dentist when they have a problem. We want to change that statistic by raising awareness about the importance of regular dental cleanings for your dental and oral health as well as your overall health and wellness.
Tooth decay and gum disease have been linked to diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Numerous studies have shown that your oral health is a direct reflection of your general health and that those with healthier teeth and mouths tend to be in better overall health. Going to the dentist every 6 months can change your life in many positive ways.
Schedule Your Appointment With Barkoff Dental Today
At Barkoff Dental we believe in the importance of dental and oral health, which is why we provide routine dental cleanings and oral examinations for new and existing patients as part of our comprehensive dental services. Our goal is to provide the care you need to have a healthy, functional smile.