Regular dental cleanings are recommended by the American Dental Association. Depending on your situation, your dentist may need to see you more frequently if you have a higher risk for gum disease. Getting your teeth cleaned is crucial to your oral health.
What is the recommended frequency of dental cleanings?
Visiting the dentist for a cleaning every six months is recommended by most dentists. By taking a look at your teeth, your dentist can identify any cavities or gingivitis that need to be treated during this appointment. Interestingly, there are many experts who have disputed the 6-month standard in recent years. Researchers reported in 2013 that twice-yearly visits don't necessarily lead to statistically significant improvements in dental outcomes. Many patients benefit from having their teeth cleaned every 3 or 4 months to help maintain their specific oral health needs.
According to the same study, your dental professional should be able to determine the frequency of your dental visits in consultation with you based on your specific risk factors for gum disease (periodontitis) and tooth loss.
It is possible that you are more likely to develop gum disease if you:
- Have inconsistent home hygiene habits such as brushing or flossing
- Have health conditions such as Heart Disease or Diabetes
- Use Tobacco products to include smoking, chewing or vaping
- Have a genetic predisposition to gum or bone diseases.
There may be many reasons for inequities in healthcare and barriers to access, but the fact remains that regular dentist visits are beneficial to dental health as well as overall health.
How a teeth cleaning works
In general, a professional dental cleaning visit involves the following steps:
An hour is typically sufficient for the whole process. During the procedure, the area around your teeth and gums can be lightly numbed if you have sensitive teeth to improve your comfort.
The cleaning process involves using hand instruments to remove tartar and plaque rom your teeth. During this step, also known as scaling, your dental hygienist will use special tools to scrape stubborn plaque off the most difficult to reach spots in your mouth. They will also use special flossing tools and techniques to clean the gaps between your teeth. Ultrasonic instruments can be used to limit the "scraping" required during your cleaning. Ultrasonic instruments gently use water and vibration to remove the most stubborn buildup on our teeth and can even remove heavy staining that discolors your smile.
Additionally, you may receive a polishing. A rotating head with dental paste is used by your dental hygienist to give your teeth a shine that will make your teeth feel shiny and smooth. It is a great feeling to have freshly cleaned teeth!
After a thorough dental cleaning we recommend getting a fluoride treatment to help prevent future cavities. Various fluoride treatments are available, including pastes, gels, and varnishes.
Based on our findings during your cleaning appointment, we also recommend the best products for your situation that can help maintain healthy teeth at home. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene between dental cleanings in order to keep your teeth healthy. In order to maintain good oral hygiene, you should brush twice a day for two minutes and floss once a day.
The importance of professional teeth cleaning cannot be overstated. Depending on the condition of your teeth and gums, you should work with your dentist to determine how often this procedure should be performed.
Call us today to schedule your next cleaning at McAdams Dental. We love helping Phoenix and Scottsdale patients keep their teeth clean and healthy! As a wise person once said, you only take care of the teeth you want to keep!