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How Often Should I Schedule Teeth Cleanings?

back of a woman's head sitting down in dental chair
Author: cmcgovern Posted: July 9th, 2020 Category:

Regular teeth cleanings can help to prevent tooth decay and detect other oral health issues before it’s too late. 

Getting your teeth cleaned regularly helps you keep a healthy, white smile — but that’s not all it’s good for. Every time you visit the dentist for a teeth cleaning procedure, you lower your risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues. 

So, what do dentists mean when they recommend a “regular” teeth cleaning? How regular is regular enough? According to many oral healthcare experts, the magic number for teeth cleaning is twice a year. That’s why your dental insurance will likely cover twice yearly. It’s probably what your dentist recommends, too.

What happens in a teeth cleaning procedure? 

To make your teeth cleaning a little less intimidating, it helps to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. 

  • Dental exam. First, your dental hygienist will give you an examination. During your dental exam, your hygienist will inspect your teeth with a small mirror, and maybe take some x-rays. 
  • Cleaning. After your examination, your dental hygienist will begin the cleaning process. Your hygienist will scrape plaque off your teeth with a small scaler, then they will perform a heavy-duty teeth brushing with an electric powered toothbrush. In this part of the cleaning, your hygienist will also floss your teeth.
  • Rinse and fluoride. At the end of the teeth cleaning, your hygienist will rinse out your mouth, and maybe apply fluoride toothpaste to protect your enamel against cavities and tooth decay. 

Why should I get my teeth cleaned twice a year? 

Oral health experts don’t just pick a number at random — there are good reasons why you should get your teeth cleaned twice a year. Your dental health is time-sensitive. Even with the healthiest diet, plaque and tartar naturally begin to build up on your teeth as soon as your teeth are clean. That’s why keeping your teeth clean is a constant process.

To minimize the risk of oral health issues,  remember to brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and minimize sugary or corrosive foods. When plaque first begins to develop, it is soft for a few hours — that’s why brushing your teeth twice a day is so necessary. If plaque is left to build, it begins to harden into tartar, which you can’t brush off. Tartar can cause gum disease and cavities if it’s left to grow. 

That’s where teeth cleanings come in. There is still a small amount of plaque and tartar that can develop, even with a strong dental hygiene program. Regular teeth cleanings are important to ensure your teeth are fully clean, and to give you future protection with fluoride coating. Plus, teeth cleanings help your dentist to spot potentially serious oral health issues, like tooth decay, gum disease, or oral cancers. 

Schedule a teeth cleaning at Espire

At Espire, our qualified specialists offer teeth cleaning in comfortable, patient-friendly offices across the Denver metro area. If you haven’t gotten your teeth cleaned for a while, or even if you’re just looking for a new dentist, make sure to request an appointment at Espire. Your oral health is too important to wait!