How often should I get my Teeth Cleaning?

How often should I get my teeth cleaned?

 

This is a common question with many patients in our dental office. Patients always ask how often should they get their teeth cleaned. Teeth cleaning is a part of preventative dentistry. Routine cleanings are a great way to keep your mouth healthy and avoid high cost dental procedures. First let’s explore what we do during teeth cleanings.

 

During dental cleanings, hygenists or dentists use an ultrasonic scaler to pick off tartar or calculus. Tartar or calculus is mineralized plaque that can’t be scrubbed off by a toothbrush or floss. That is why you need to get your teeth cleaned. Tartar harbors bacteria that cause inflammation in the gums and can lead to gum disease called periodontitis. During this gum disease, the bacteria which lives on the tartar will cause the bone around the teeth to dissolve away. If you lose enough bone the teeth will become loose and you will lose teeth because of gum disease.

 

So now that we answered why we clean teeth let’s get back to how often we should clean teeth. The standard is every 6 months. 6 months is the time it usually takes for healthy gums to accumulate tartar. Doing cleanings every 6 months on healthy gums will usually keep the mouth healthy. BUT, some people accumulate tartar in 3 months and for those people we recommend teeth cleanings at that rate.

 

Now let’s talk about deep cleanings. Deep cleanings are offered by your general dentist in order to clean inflamed and infected gums. It is important for dentists to clean under the gum for people with periodontal disease and get deep enough to clean the tartar from the bottom of the gum. This is why we call them deep cleanings. For people with periodontal disease we recommend cleanings every 3 months so we make sure that the gums heal to a healthy state.

 

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