When was the last time you had a dental cleaning? If you’re not sure, you may be due for a visit to the dentist. Regular cleanings are a necessary part of maintaining your dental and oral health. Brushing and flossing your teeth at home is also important, but it is still necessary to have professional cleanings.
How often should you have your teeth cleaned? Here’s what dentists recommend.
Have Your Teeth Cleaned Twice a Year
Dentists recommend that the average person should have their teeth professionally cleaned every 6 months. The “average person” would describe someone with generally healthy teeth and no significant oral health risks. A person who is prone to tooth decay and gum disease may need to have more frequent dental cleanings to manage their dental and oral health.
Why Are Dental Cleanings Important?
Even if you brush your teeth and floss every day, some plaque will still form on your teeth. Plaque is sticky film made of food residue and bacteria that clings to the teeth and settles into hard to reach areas of your mouth. When plaque is not removed by brushing and flossing it can cause tooth decay and gum disease. The bacteria in plaque can eat away at your tooth enamel and infect your gum tissue. When plaque is not removed regularly it can harden into calculus, which is even more difficult to remove and results in a higher risk of dental and oral health problems.
Professional dental cleanings are done to remove plaque and calculus from your teeth before it can cause damage to your teeth and gums. Studies have shown that 6 months is the ideal time frame for most patients to have dental cleanings in order to maintain optimal oral health.
What Does a Teeth Cleaning Entail?
A routine dental cleaning typically includes the following:
- Oral exam. A thorough oral exam is conducted to inspect the teeth and soft tissues of the mouth. Your dentist will be looking for things like cavities, gum disease, and abnormalities (signs of oral cancer). Once a year you may have X-Rays to identify any problems that can’t be seen at a glance.
- Plaque removal. Using special tools, all plaque will be removed from your teeth. If there is any hardened plaque (calculus) it will also be removed with the necessary tools.
- Flossing. Your teeth will be professionally flossed to remove plaque from between the teeth and the pockets between the teeth and gums.
- Polishing. The surface of your teeth will be polished until they are smooth and shiny. Not only does this improve the appearance of your teeth, it removes uneven spots where plaque can form.
How Often Does Insurance Cover Teeth Cleanings?
Because it is supported by dentists and dental health professionals, most dental insurance plans will cover teeth cleanings every 6 months. Insurance providers know that regular cleanings and exams will help keep your mouth healthy and reduce the need for more complex (read: more expensive) procedures.
How Often Should Children Have Dental Cleanings?
As with adults, children should have their teeth cleaned every 6 months. According to the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, children should have their first dental exam and cleaning around 12 months of age and regular cleanings every 6 months going forward. Maintaining children’s dental health will establish a foundation for a lifetime of dental and oral health.
Champagne Smiles Provides Dental Cleanings
If you’re due for a teeth cleaning, Champagne Smiles is currently accepting new patients and welcoming back existing patients. We provide comprehensive dental services for families in Monmouth County, New Jersey and the surrounding area. We see patients of all ages, providing you with the convenience of taking the whole family to one dental office for care.