The frequency of professional teeth cleaning depends on the health of your teeth and gums, for example healthy children and adults should have their teeth cleaned at least twice a year. If you’re a smoker or have a tendency to get gum infections you should visit your dentist more often. It’s a good idea to actually ask your dentist how often you should visit their office.
The old saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is an extremely wise piece of advice when it comes to your oral health. When dental problems are detected and treated early, the damage is not nearly as severe and the problem is much simpler to remedy. Small cavities can grow and necessitate the need for a root canal or, if left untreated for an extended period of time, can destroy a tooth completely. Likewise, when plaque and tartar build-up are left on your teeth’s crowns and roots for too long then gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease. The American Dental Association recommends that everyone see the dentist for a regular dental cleaning and check up every six months.
Regular cleaning can help to identify gum disease, screen for other oral diseases and can be an opportunity to discuss ways to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Dentists may recommend more frequent cleaning if you are at greater risk for periodontal disease, which may be related to age, personal oral-hygiene practices, or medical conditions like diabetes, HIV or use of certain medications.
Good oral hygiene consists of several aspects that are all important in their own right. Home care should consist of a minimum of brushing your teeth twice a day, after meals, and regular flossing of your teeth. Brushing your tongue will also help to prevent the buildup of food and plaque and associated halitosis. Your diet plays an important role in you oral health as well. Frequent intake of sugary or acid-containing foods is detrimental to your teeth. Remember that it’s not the amount, but rather the frequency that is the most damaging. Lastly, regular professional dental cleaning and accompanying exam are important because there simply is no substitute for a good professional cleaning.
Your concern about the frequency of cleaning is valid. I’d suggest having a discussion with your dentist to clarify why he recommended this schedule for you. There might, for instance, be a concern about your oral-hygiene routine, your age or other medical conditions. If early changes related to periodontal disease have been noticed, frequent cleaning may be suggested to closely monitor and prevent further progression. Ultimately, the schedule of cleaning is your decision, so the more information you can gather from your own research and from your dentist, the more informed choice you can make for your dental health.
Arlington Family Dentistry
3100 Matlock Rd
Arlington, TX 76015