When it comes to your oral health, preventing problems is easier than curing them. That’s why it’s important for you to see your dentist regularly to have your teeth cleaned. Routine dental cleanings are important for keeping your teeth and gums healthy, preventing cavities, and catching any problems in your mouth early enough that they can be treated effectively. It’s generally recommended that everyone should see their dentist once a year at minimum, but many people need to have their teeth cleaned more often. Keep reading to learn what cleaning frequency is right for you.
Why Dental Cleanings Matter for Your Oral Health
You probably already know that you need to floss daily and brush your teeth at least twice a day. But even if you are meticulous about your oral hygiene routine at home, you still need to visit the dentist’s office for professional cleanings, too. Plaque builds up on your teeth over time, even if you are careful about cleaning them, and over time, that plaque can harden into tartar. Tartar is more difficult to remove from your teeth than plaque, and you can’t do it at home — it must be scraped off with a special tool by a dental professional. Besides being unhygienic, tartar can cause longer-term problems like cavities and gum irritation. Getting your teeth cleaned regularly minimizes the amount of plaque and tartar that can build up in your mouth between visits to the dentist.
Another reason you shouldn’t skip your dental cleaning appointments is that regular maintenance helps to prevent little problems from turning into big problems. It might not be obvious to you if you’re developing cavities or if you’ve got the early signs of gum disease, but your dentist will notice and help you take the right steps to correct the issue before the damage is irreversible.
What’s the Ideal Frequency for Dental Cleanings?
Everyone should see their dentist for a cleaning at least once a year. Most people, however, are better off getting their teeth cleaned twice a year. Getting an oral checkup twice a year helps keep plaque and tartar formation to a minimum, so your visits to the dentist will be quicker and easier. Biannual cleanings also help you and your dentist stay on top of any dental health issues you might be dealing with. The majority of insurance plans in the United States cover two dental cleanings a year, so if you have insurance, it’s a good idea to take full advantage of it.
Factors That Affect How Often You Need Your Teeth Cleaned
Some people are more prone to dental problems than others. If you have had a lot of cavities in the past, or if you have a history of other oral health problems, your dentist might want you to come in more frequently than every six months. The same holds true if you have diabetes or if you’re a smoker.
Even if you haven’t been to the dentist’s office in years, it’s never too late to start taking care of your oral health. If you don’t know how often you should be getting your teeth cleaned, make an appointment with your dentist today, and they can help you set up a cleaning schedule that matches your individual needs.