Dental cleanings are a necessary aspect of oral healthcare. But just how often should you have them? If you’re like most patients, you’ve heard that you should have cleanings every six months. While this is true for many individuals, it may not be true for everyone.

The American Dental Association released their official statement regarding cleanings back in 2013. In order to maintain healthy teeth and gums, they recommend regular dental visits at intervals determined by your dentist. Essentially, this means that your treatment should be determined by your unique oral health needs. That makes sense, because no two patients are the same. Let’s explore this topic in a little more detail.

Why do so many patients benefit from six-month dental cleanings?

After you’ve had a dental cleaning, levels of oral bacteria return to baseline. Slowly, however, over the course of the next several weeks, bacteria begin to multiply again. They feed off of the sugars in your mouth and create plaque. This sticky substance is responsible for several problems, including tooth decay and gum disease. The bacteria then feed off of the plaque, continuing a harmful cycle. Having six-month dental cleanings removes plaque and tartar and reduces oral bacteria for longer, reducing the risk for the most common oral health issues.

When are more frequent dental cleanings recommended?

There are several instances in which more frequent cleanings may be necessary. For example, if you are prone to decay or gum disease, Dr. Bridges may recommend cleanings every three to four months instead of every six months. Additionally, if you have an ongoing dental issue or problematic area – such as a food trap – you may need more frequent cleanings. During a consultation at our Duncan, OK, practice, we can let you know what to expect.

Should I ever wait longer than six months?

In some rare cases, patients may be able to wait longer than six months. However, this is not the norm. Those who wear full dentures may be able to visit our office less frequently. In general, however, most individuals will need to schedule visits between three and six months apart.

Why are dental cleanings so important?

In short, dental cleanings are a preventative measure that can significantly reduce the risk of oral health problems. This not only means that you are less likely to develop cavities and periodontal disease, but it also means that you’ll end up spending less money in the long run. Dental cleanings are far less expensive than restorative treatments, such as crowns, bridges, and dental implants. Attending regular dental cleanings gives you the best chance of maintaining healthy teeth and gums for years to come.

Things You Can Do between Dental Cleanings

To keep your oral health in tip-top shape between cleanings, there are a few things you can do. For example:

  • Make sure that you are using a fluoride toothpaste that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance on the box.
  • Brush your teeth at least two times every day.
  • Floss between the teeth once daily, no exceptions. 
  • Consume sugary foods and beverages in moderation.
  • If you play contact sports, wear a mouthguard.
  • Ask about custom night guards if you grind your teeth.
  • Use an antibacterial, alcohol-free mouthwash.

Schedule your dental cleaning today.

Has it been a while since you’ve seen the dentist? Maybe it’s time for a teeth cleaning. To schedule an appointment at our Duncan, OK, practice, contact us online or give us a call at (580) 255-4880.