Routine cleaning is one of the most important parts of maintaining good oral health. They’re also one of the most commonly neglected. How often you need to have your teeth cleaned depends on several factors, including your age and oral health conditions. Here’s your guide on when to schedule routine dental cleanings for your family.
Most adults only need a cleaning once every six (6) months. Your dental hygienist will brush, floss, polish, and clean between your teeth. Most dental insurances will cover two preventative cleanings per year. Many dentists offer affordable prices for patients paying out of pocket.
Children can also see the dentist about every six (6) months for a cleaning. It’s a common misconception that children with baby teeth do not need routine cleanings since the teeth will fall out anyway and be replaced with permanent teeth. But allowing baby teeth to decay can affect a child’s overall oral health. It may even cause a need for orthodontic treatment later in the child’s life.
Elderly patients should generally see the dentist every 3 to 6 months. Oral health problems are more common in elderly patients. Early detection and routine cleaning are critical for keeping as many natural teeth as possible. However, patients who have had all of their teeth removed may only need to see the dentist annually or to have their dentures fit and serviced.
When Are Additional Cleanings Recommended?
Your dentist may recommend that you have additional dental cleanings if your oral health condition warrants it. Here are some scenarios in which your dentist may suggest that you have more frequent cleanings:
Gum disease, or periodontitis, is a serious condition in which bacteria becomes lodged beneath the gumline and causes infection and inflammation. Once this condition progresses past a certain point, it can’t be treated at home simply by stepping up your own oral hygiene habits. You will need to have a deep cleaning where your hygienist spends much more time cleaning each section of your teeth. Because this kind of cleaning is more intense, it is usually done in multiple appointments. You will likely need to be seen for routine cleanings every three (3) months until your condition becomes stable.
Gum recession is often the result of periodontitis and may be one of the first indicators of unhealthy gums. Unfortunately, recession is permanent and can only be treated with grafting once the condition becomes severe enough. More frequent routine cleanings can help prevent further recession and are important in keeping additional damage at bay.
Health Conditions (Diabetes, Heart Disease, etc.)
The bacteria that grows in your mouth is constantly being swallowed, and when you have serious health conditions like diabetes or heart disease that affect the vascular system, dental cleanings become extremely important. This bacteria travels through your body and can complicate already critical medical issues.
Family History of Certain Diseases
If you have a family history of diabetes or heart disease, your dentist may also recommend more frequent cleanings. It’s better to get ahead of any potential systemic health conditions that can be exacerbated by an overgrowth of oral bacteria.
If you’ve invested a significant amount of money into the appearance and health of your teeth, keeping them in tip-top shape is of the utmost importance. Good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent damage to your cosmetic work, cavities, gum disease, and any other conditions that may put your restorations at risk.
Schedule An Appointment
At Smiles by Shields Dentistry, our team is dedicated to helping patients of all ages achieve excellent oral health. We want you to look and feel your best about your smile every day! Contact us to book your appointment by calling (904) 731-0777.