How to Decide?
Answer the following questions:
- Do your gums bleed occasionally, particularly when you are cleaning them?
- Do you feel a foul taste in your mouth or feel like you suffer from bad breath?
- Do you suffer from sensitive or loose teeth?
- Can you see stains or buildups on your teeth?
- Do you sometimes forget to brush or floss your teeth?
- Have you ever been diagnosed with gum disease before?
- Do you have very crooked teeth that makes it hard to clean them?
- If there a history of tooth loss in your immediate family?
- Has it been over a year since your last dental cleaning?
If you answered “yes” to most of the above questions then it’s probably time to see your dentist for a cleaning. You really shouldn’t go more than one year without a dental cleaning, although most dentists recommend every 6 months.
If you answered “no” to most of the above questions then maybe you can wait a few more months. But make sure to discuss with your dentist about how frequently you should present for your dentist cleanings as only your dentist can determine this for you.
The main reason we like you to maintain regular dental cleanings is to avoid developing gum disease and needing deep cleanings. Gum disease can creep on you with little to no symptoms and it may occur at any age. Some people have great teeth but bad gums and they avoid going to the dentist for years. Once they finally do show up for their cleaning they find themselves diagnosed with advanced stages of gum disease. Sometimes it may even be too late and they have to remove multiple teeth.
Don’t forget that gum disease affecting the jawbone is an irreversible condition and once you lose the supporting tissue and bone it can not be regrown. If you have symptoms of gum disease you should run to see your dentist for a cleaning right away. The symptoms may include the following. But even without any obvious symptoms you should still consider getting your gums examined regularly to ensure that you aren’t building up tartar and calculus or developing gum disease.
NEXT >> Brushing vs. Dentist Cleaning: Dental Cleaning
Brushing vs. Dentist Cleaning: Cleaning Your Teeth Yourself
1. Most dental visits rarely end up with just a simple cleaning. As you may know dentists are required to have some current X-rays on hand before they are able to give you a dental cleaning. And once they take your X-rays it is very likely that they will find something else wrong with your teeth or gums. A new cavity, a leaking old filling, a cracked tooth, gum disease or who knows what else! And with 28 or so teeth in a healthy adult mouth it isn’t too difficult to find a problem or two somewhere!
2. Simple cleanings are not expensive, but they still costs something. While simple cleanings are typically not that expensive they still will cost you something. You may be discouraged from going in for dental cleanings because you feel they are not helping you out. If your cleanings appear to be rushed or you leave the dentist and still have stained teeth and your gums continue to bleed, then chances are the problem may be with the quality of your cleaning. Unfortunately you are not going to get quality care at every single dental office. If you feel that your cleaning sessions are unsatisfactory then either talk about it to your dentist or hygienist about improving them or consider switching to another dentist, one who will give you the cleaning your mouth deserves and doesn’t compromise the health of your teeth and gums!
3. Those who do a terrific job of cleaning their teeth benefit less from dentist cleanings. Some people are incredible when it comes to taking care of their teeth. They are constantly brushing and flossing, never suffer from bleeding gums, monitor their diet and sugar consumption carefully and live their whole lives cavity free and gum disease free. If this applies to you then you can probably opt to go for less frequent cleanings. We still suggest no less than one cleaning per year as this should be the absolute least we can safely recommend. For most people two cleanings a year makes the most sense. Just don’t postpone your cleanings for too long, you just never know when something will start going wrong.
NEXT >> How to Decide
Brushing vs. Dentist Cleaning: Dental Cleaning
1. Two cleanings a year should be enough in the absence of gum disease. If you don’t have gum disease you should be able to satisfactorily maintain your teeth on your own for 6 months or more until your next dental cleaning appointment. How do you know if you don’t have gum disease?
- You have good oral hygiene and brush and floss yoru teeth regulalry
- You have firm and pink gums which don’t bleed much
- You have shallow gum pockets that don’t trap a lot of food and bacteria and can easily be cleaned with a toothbrush and floss
- You follow a healthy diet and watch your intake of sugary and acidic foods
- You don’t smoke and you don’t have uncontrolled diabetes. Smoking and uncontrolled diabetes can both lead to gum disease despite great oral hygiene.
Your dentist will diagnose and determine if you have gum disease or not and tell you if you’re a good candidate for two cleanings a year or if you require more than two a year.
2. It’s just easier to comply with two cleanings a year. Going for three or four cleanings a year is a serious commitment and should be reserved for those who actually need it the most. For those of us with healthy gums and good home oral hygiene routines two cleanings a year works out best with our busy lifestyles. If we are brushing and flossing well and we don’t build up tartar and calculus on our teeth then going 6 months without a cleaning will not damage our gums and should be acceptable.
3. Dental insurances typically cover no more than two cleanings a year. Well the insurance companies have spoken and they’ve determined that two cleanings a year is sufficient in most cases so that is what they are paying for. Although to their credit some plans actually cover more cleanings a year with proper documentation of gum disease and risk factors but most dentists don’t feel like writing a long narrative in exchange for a small payment. For the majority of us two cleanings a year seems to be enough as we can rely on brushing and flossing and other oral hygiene products to maintain our oral health during the six months leading up to our next dental cleaning appointment.
NEXT >> How Often Should I get a Dental Cleaning: How to Decide
How Often Should I get a Dental Cleaning: Every 3 to 4 Months