woman getting teeth cleaned by hygienist

How Often Should You Get Your Teeth Cleaned?

Professional teeth cleanings are necessary to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. But how long can you go without a dental cleaning? Do you really need to get your teeth cleaned as often as twice a year? The answer is yes, and actually, you may need more frequent cleanings if you’re prone to certain dental conditions. 

Why You Need to Get Your Teeth Cleaned

You can’t go much longer than a year without getting a dental cleaning before your oral health will seriously start to decline. Because even when you brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily like you’re supposed to, plaque still builds up on your teeth and collects in hard-to-reach areas. 

Plaque is full of harmful bacteria that eat away at your tooth enamel, and your teeth cannot repair the damage themselves. Your toothbrush and floss can only do so much, and any plaque that remains on your teeth for longer than a day hardens into tartar, which can only be removed with the special tools used by a dental hygienist. 

Another reason professional teeth cleanings are necessary is that they come with an exam by your dentist. Examining your mouth allows your dentist to detect the warning signs of dental problems like cavities, bruxism, or gum disease. 

How Often Should You Get Your Teeth Cleaned?

Even people with excellent oral health must see the dentist at least twice a year. But depending on certain factors, you may need to have your teeth cleaned more frequently than once every six months.

For instance, you may need to visit the dentist as often as every three months if you smoke or vape or suffer from dry mouth. These risk factors make you more vulnerable to gum disease, a serious oral infection that begins with bleeding gums and leads to tooth loss. 

If you already have gum disease, you may need more frequent dental cleanings as well. Additional treatments and cleanings can help manage your symptoms and stop gum disease from progressing to its more severe stages.   

What Happens During a Professional Teeth Cleaning?

During a cleaning, your dental hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar from your teeth, show you the proper flossing technique, and polish your teeth so they shine. Afterward, your dentist will examine your mouth to check for signs of cavities, gum disease, and other dental issues. 

Many people put off teeth cleanings due to dental anxiety and a fear of the procedure. But even if it’s a bit unpleasant, a typical cleaning is non-invasive and it’s over quickly. The longer you put off a professional teeth cleaning—no matter how often you brush and floss—the more plaque and tartar will build up on your teeth. 

Putting off dental appointments can lead to more time in the dentist’s chair for deep cleaning as well as the need for scaling and root planing, fillings, crowns, or root canals. Going for years without seeing the dentist only allows existing conditions to worsen to the point of tooth loss, severe decay, and more invasive treatments. 

Gentle Teeth Cleaning in Gilbert, Arizona

If it’s been over six months since your last dental checkup, you’re due for a professional cleaning. At Lifetime Family Dental, we perform gentle cleanings and thorough exams for all ages. We’ll help you brighten your smile and keep your family’s oral health in top condition. Give us a call at 480-558-4331 today to make an appointment. 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (3/8/2023). Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels