The common belief is that you should visit your dental hygienist and have a professional tooth cleaning every six months. Did you know that this recommendation was not developed by a dentist or even based on dental science? It started around WWII as part of a Pepsodent toothpaste ad that promoted “Brush Twice A Day and See Your Dentist Twice a Year”.
The purpose of a professional cleaning is to eliminate both hard and soft deposits (plaque and tarter) from your teeth, which harbor bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. A professional dental cleaning also removes the stain that accumulates from foods and beverages. The stain not only makes your teeth look darker, but also creates a rough surface that the bacteria can stick to.
If you have a low risk for cavities and gum disease in combination with keeping your teeth clean effectively at home, then having a professional cleaning twice a year is sufficient. However, for patients who have a higher risk for cavities or gum disease one of the most effective methods of prevention is to have a professional tooth cleaning more often to reduce the bacteria in your mouth. Professional cleanings may be recommended 3, 4 or more times a year. We will look at your individual risk factors and discuss an interval for professional tooth cleanings that we think will keep your teeth healthy.