Although the standard time between teeth cleanings has traditionally been six months, the American Dental Association now recommends teeth cleanings at intervals determined by your dentist .
Since people have varying oral health needs, some people may need to visit the dentist more often, others less often, with six months being the average amount of time between visits. Seeing your dentist for regular teeth cleanings helps prevent oral health problems and keep your smile as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Here’s how!
Remove Harmful Plaque and Bacteria
Plaque, a combination of fluid, bacteria, and food particles, is constantly forming over your teeth between brushings. However, it’s not easy to see and can build up in places that you don’t realize, such as between the teeth .
When done properly, brushing and flossing removes most of this plaque, but trace amounts can remain. And when you skip brushing or flossing, or have teeth that are difficult to properly clean, such as crooked or crowded teeth, plaque buildup can lead to tooth enamel damage and gum irritation that can affect the health of your smile.
Your dental hygienist will carefully clean your teeth to remove plaque and tartar—the hardened form of plaque—from your smile to keep it healthy during your regular teeth cleaning.
Prevent Common Oral Health Problems
Oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease typically don’t have many early symptoms . These conditions can go undetected until they’ve caused major damage to your teeth and gums. Avoiding these problems by keeping your smile healthy can help prevent permanent damage to your smile.
By getting your teeth cleaned regularly, your dental hygienist and dentist can not only identify these problems early, but help prevent them in the first place. Getting your teeth professionally cleaned can keep your tooth enamel strong to resist cavities and your gum tissue healthy to prevent gum disease.
Detect Issues Early
Besides tooth decay and gum disease, there are other harmful conditions that can affect your smile. When you get regular teeth cleanings, your dentist will examine your oral cavity to identify any potential problems.
For example, your dentist can identify damaged dental restorations that could lead to a tooth infection or even a choking hazard, such as a loose filling, during your exam. Your dentist can also conduct an oral cancer screening, which is painless and takes just a few minutes, to help detect disease early in the oral cavity .
By giving your dentist a chance to check for these and other potential problems, you help protect your smile for life!
When Was the Last Time You Had Your Teeth Cleaned?
Ask your dentist how often you should come in to get your teeth cleaned to prevent damage to your teeth and gums. Remember, regular teeth cleanings are more than about keeping your smile bright—they can prevent oral disease that can jeopardize your smile!